Why Swiss borders may be changing, how Swiss National Day will look different in 2022, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from July 25 – 29.
Doctors respond to stricter assisted suicide regulations
The Swiss Medical Association this week released new guidelines for patients – domestic and foreign – seeking to end their lives through legally assisted-suicide. The new rules include: Assisted suicide for physically healthy persons is no longer legal; the symptoms of the sickness or physical impairment must be considered “unbearable;” and a local physician must conduct two assessments of the patient two weeks apart – meaning that patients will have to stay in Switzerland for at least 15 days. Officials from assisted suicide organizations were quick to voice their concerns over the new rules, especially the “two-week rule” as it asks for people with very expensive medical costs to locate and pay for specialized medical housing while they wait to learn if their condition is deemed “unbearable” enough. Read more.
How melting glaciers are shifting Switzerland’s borders
A melting, Alpine glacier is shifting the border between Switzerland and Italy, which has put the nationality of a famous mountain lodge, the Rifugio Guide del Cervino, into question. The current border runs along where the glacier melts at the peak of one mountain, but as the melting has increased the watershed has moved more deeply into the “Italian” side where the lodge is located. Constructed in 1984, the lodged has been considered completely Italian up until a few years ago when a project to construct a cable car station began a few meters away. Diplomatic negotiations began in 2018, but the results of which will remain secret until 2023, Swiss officials say. Read more.
Why this year’s August 1 celebrations will look different
Every August 1, Switzerland celebrates Swiss National Day – marking more that 700 years since three disparate cantons pledged to form a new nation. The holiday usually means alphorns, yodeling, eating and merriment; but, this year’s celebration will be missing two thing: bonfires and fireworks. Officials announced this week that due to a continued drought and heatwave, nearly every canton has banned fires and fireworks as they may lead to forest fires. Read more.
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