Women prevented from travelling to Switzerland for assisted suicide

The building of the assisted suicide clinic, Dignitas in Pfaeffikon near Zurich.

Two Irish women have been prevented from travelling to Switzerland for assisted suicide, after intervention by the Gardaí.

The women, one of whom is in the final stage of multiple sclerosis, were forced to cancel their planned visit to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, after officers became aware of their plans, radio station Newstalk has reported.

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland but is a criminal offence in Ireland, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.

Newstalk social affairs correspondent Orla Barry said the woman's friend only became aware of the offence when she went to pick up the tickets at the travel agents.

"She was told that if she travelled with her friend to Switzerland and her friend did avail of assisted suicide, on her return she was in danger of prosecution.

"This was the first she knew of this and she was pretty alarmed...As a result both of them were very distraught and decided that they wouldn't travel."

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