Information for media representatives

The non-profit member society "DIGNITAS – To live with dignity – To die with dignity " receives numerous inquiries from media worldwide regarding developments and events in connection with assisted dying in general, and with the association’s activities. DIGNITAS appreciates the interest and, thanks to over 20 years of international experience in promoting and maintaining freedom of choice and self-determination in life and at the end of life, is in a position to give well-founded statements contributing to informing and educating the broader public.

DIGNITAS attaches great importance to constructive media relations committed to the facts. Quality takes precedence over quantity. DIGNITAS does not comment on matters of no relevance to the activities of the association and/or which concern individual cases. Likewise DIGNITAS does not provide information concerning individual members. Questions that can be answered by own research on the extensive DIGNITAS website will not be dealt with.

DIGNITAS is of the opinion that individuals‘ personal stories should have their place in media coverage of assisted dying. However, these should be presented correctly, based on the facts and shown in the overall context. DIGNITAS does not participate in speculative and/or voyeuristic articles and media formats which, in DIGNITAS views, primarily serve the purpose of emotionalisation, entertainment and/or scandalisation.

DIGNITAS is first and foremost committed to the association’s purpose and the needs of its members and the numerous individuals seeking help and advice. The aim of DIGNITAS‘ media work is to educate, provide appropriate information and explain the wider context of its activities, e.g. the prevention of suicide and suicide attempts, advice on end-of-life care, palliative care, advance directives etc. Short formats and news journalism are little suitable for this.

The DIGNITAS website contains a wealth of information about DIGNITAS' activities, in particular about its national and international legal and political work for the promotion and preservation of freedom of choice and self-determination in life and at the end of life, as well as the requirements and procedures in connection with assisted suicide. This website is the only official and reliable source of information from and about DIGNITAS.

DIGNITAS will examine media inquiries and, if appropriate, provide background information to contribute to well-founded reporting if they meet the following requirements:

  • a written media request (by e-mail to dignitas[at]dignitas.ch) explaining the format/frame, aim and topic/scope of the planned media contribution;
  • the planned contribution leaves enough room for statements commensurate to the topic;
  • the media representative has familiarised himself/herself with the topic and researched it to such an extent that cooperation can take place within a reasonable time frame.

DIGNITAS reserves the right not to respond to individual inquiries, in particular from journalists and media companies who do not meet these requirements and/or do not comply with previous agreements.

Important note: Media reporting in connection with suicide requires great sensitivity and the use of correct terminology. In many countries, there are guidelines for journalists on appropriate media reporting on suicide.

Also, the World Health Organization has a comprehensive booklet with background information and recommendations regarding reporting on suicide:
Preventing suicide: a resource for media professionals

 
 

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E-mail:
dignitas@dignitas.ch

Address:
DIGNITAS
P.O. Box 17
8127 Forch
Switzerland

Telephone national
043 366 10 70
Telephone international
+41 43 366 10 70
(Mon to Fri, 9:00 - 12:00 / 13:30 - 16:30 hours)

Fax national
043 366 10 79
Fax international
+41 43 366 10 79