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Right-to-die groups hope for laxer laws in Europe

Right-to-die campaigners are meeting in Switzerland amid signs that the practice of assisted suicide is gaining acceptance in Europe.

Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg already have laws permitting varying forms of assisted suicide, or euthanasia.

The Swiss group EXIT said Tuesday that campaigners would be discussing recently elected French President Francois Hollande's proposal to allow assisted suicide for terminally ill patients in France.

It also cited a British expert panel's report earlier this year recommending legalization of assisted suicide in England and Wales.

Some 100 representatives from 55 groups across the world will take part in the weeklong event in Zurich.

Invited speakers include British activist Debbie Purdy, American lawyer George Felos and best-selling author Terry Pratchett.

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