Row as Swiss Clamp Down on Assisted Suicide Visits

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Byline: MARK HOOKHAM

SWISS authorities are to crack down on suicide tourism after the death of a Merseyside man led to a list of 500 Britons waiting todie.

A law expected to be passed in the coming months will require foreigners to have lived in Switzerland for at least six months before they are eligible for assisted suicide.

The regulations will require Swiss doctors to check that would-be patients are suffering for incurable illnesses and have expressed a repeated desire to die.

The move was last night criticised by widow Win Crew, whose 74-year- old husband Reg was helped to die by Zurich-based suicide clinic Dignitas.

Mr Crew suffered from motor neurone disease and had been reduced to spending the last six months of his life paralysed from the neck down and unable to lie down or feed himself.

Mrs Crew,from Hunts Cross, Liverpool, said:``We would never have been able to go to Zurich if they had had this law. They have the same rules in Holland and that stopped Reg going there.

``I am upset for the people who are really ill and think that this is their last hope.''

Since Mr Crew's death in January 2003,500 other people from across the UK have signed with Dignitas,including at least one more terminally ill Merseysider. Shortly after Mr Crew died the Public Prosecutor's Office in Zurich launched an investigation into the way Dignitas assesses people to decide if they are eligible to die. …