Switzerland is a country that deserves congratulations for being open-minded enough in helping foreigners get a peaceful death at a time of their choosing. However, this openness does not mean that there is no downside, because there is. Swiss VAD groups all operate on a medical model. This can make it difficult for some people to get help.
In Swiss law, it is only medical doctors who can prescribe the lethal drug, sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal). This makes doctors a necessary fact of life for those wishing to die in Switzerland.
In order to get a doctor to write the precious script for Nembutal, the doctor will need to review and approve one’s medical records. This makes the process medical, despite the fact that under Swiss law anyone can help another person to die.
There is, of course, some leeway in terms of the doctor who prescribes the Nembutal. Different organisations operate with different doctors. All are individuals. The best doctors will tell you that they not only seek to understand a person’s reasons for wanting to die, but that they fully respect and take very seriously their decision and fundamental human rights.