By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The German Bundestag has approved assisted suicide for altruistic reasons. The law is similar to the Swiss law except that it prohibits the commercialization of assisted suicide.
The fact is that the Swiss law permits assisted suicide for altruistic reasons, but the groups that facilitate assisted suicide actually developed over time, rather than the law simply permitting it. Now that Germany officially permits assisted suicide, the question is how will it develop over time. The German RT news reported:
MPs in Germany have rejected a bill that would have made commercial assisted suicides legal, instead passing a new law punishing such practices with up to three years imprisonment, even if doctors perform the procedure to relieve suffering.
The bill, which was upheld with 360 out of 602 votes, criminalizes organizations that assist patients in terminating their own lives for profit. It is meant to prevent the commercialization of the procedure as a “suicide business.”
However, single instances of suicide assistance – by a doctor or relative – do not contradict the new law.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is concerned that now that the door is officially opened to assisted suicide, how long will it take for the courts or future parliaments to expand the law?
Germany has not legalized euthanasia.