Monday, November 9, 2015

Assisted suicide legislation is clarified in Germany (family members won't be prosecuted, but professional assistance is forbidden)

Timo Mennle writes  from Zurich:

"the German parliament ("Bundestag") passed a new law concerning assisted suicide. The law generally forbids aiding others in their own suicide. However, it has two important points: first, it imposes a penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment if assistance for suicide is provided in a "business-like" fashion. This explicitly rules out the provision of such services for profit but also the professional provision by organization. Second, relatives and persons with a close relationships are exempt from punishment if they assist in a suicide out
of “altruistic motives.” The same is true for medical doctors in case of
decisions on a by-case basis. The new law closes a legal gap that previously left medial doctors and relatives in an ambiguous situation.

The express purpose of the new law is to "prevent a habituation of society to assisted suicide and to prevent the pressuring of old or sick persons into killing themselves." The vote in parliament was taken anonymously; the usual obligation of the members of parliament to vote according to their respective party's recommendation was explicitly suspended and they were asked to follow only their own conscience in this decision.

This and more information can be found in the following news articles
(unfortunately in German):

An English article about the topic can be found here:

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