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Where does Dignitas find its customers?

Also in Barometer: indestructible chocolate oranges and who doesn’t watch porn?

22 July 2017

9:00 AM

22 July 2017

9:00 AM

Smash the orange

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said the government’s Brexit plans could ‘fall apart like a chocolate orange’. But the point of a chocolate orange is that it doesn’t fall apart easily at all. Launched by Terry’s of York in 1932, many of its TV adverts have emphasised this theme:
1978 ‘Tap it and unwrap it’ — yokel shown tapping it lightly against tree trunk.
1998 ‘Whack and unwrap’ — man shown thumping it against a wall.
2010 ‘Smash it to pieces, love it to bits’ — several people struggle to break the orange, including a secretary with a phone and man who whacks it on a glass coffee table, breaking the table.


The government said porn sites must introduce credit card-based age verification systems to guard against access by children. How many people look at porn online?
— A 2016 NSPCC report said 65 per cent of 15- to 16-year-olds and 48 per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds had accessed it in the UK. In the younger group 19 per cent admitted searching for it; the rest said they had stumbled upon it accidentally.
— A 2015 survey for a women’s magazine found that 90 per cent of women had watched porn, 31 per cent every week.
— A 2009 study to compare attitudes of young Montreal men who regularly watched porn with those who did not was abandoned after the latter group could not be found.
— A 2013 study by an Israeli company found that 8.5 per cent of all web-page clicks are on porn sites.

Byng on target

A study by Michael Byng, who devised Network Rail’s system for estimating the costs of HS2, said the total could rise to £104 billion. How have official estimates of the first London to Birmingham phase, and of the whole project, changed?

Phase 1 / Whole project
2011 £16 bn / £32.7 bn
2013 £22 bn / £42.6 bn
2015 £27.4 / bn £55.7 bn


Final journey

The High Court saw another challenge to the law on assisted dying, which remains illegal in Britain. From which countries did the Swiss clinic Dignitas derive most of its ‘customers’ from 1998 to 2016?

Germany 1,079
UK 357
France 257
Switzerland 166
Italy 101
USA 75
Austria 51
Canada 48
Israel 33

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