Dignitas was established in 1998, one year after Exit International was founded. Since that time this organisation, under the directorship of Ludwig Minelli and now Silvan Luley, has borne the brunt of tabloid reporting about Swiss death clinics and fake news reports of compulsory euthanasia.
Perhaps as a result of the sensationalism and controversy that has surrounded the organisation, Dignitas can be argued to now be the most conservative of the groups in that it is said that they only take safe, clear-cut cases of people with serious illnesses and who are in their latter years.
EX International - Bern
EX International presents itself as the exact opposite of Dignitas. On their German-language, single-page website they make a point of stating that they are an association where everyone works on a voluntary basis. They say that it is not the size of their organisation that is important, but the personal care that is given to every person who seeks an assisted death with them.
When the authors visited EX International some years ago, the organisation had recently been bequested the funds to purchase their own rooms. While the interior of their clinic was nice enough, its location under a freeway entrance left much to be desired. At the current time, all of the Swiss right to die groups are located in ugly, city-fringe locations that are far removed from the iconic images of Swiss chalets in Swiss mountain villages surrounded by cows with bells. While Swiss law is liberal, when used by foreigners the practice has been pushed to the fringes of society. Swiss nationals, on the other hand, invariably die at home.