Catholics and Evangelicals speak up against euthanasia in Germany
In Germany, the Catholic Church has clearly opposed the proposal to conduct euthanasia in hospitals and nursing homes run by religious associations. The Council of the Evangelical Church has also voiced its opposition.
German episcopal spokesman Matthias Kopp wrote in a letter that the great danger of euthanasia is subtle pressure to agree to assisted suicide so as not to be a burden to others at the end of life.
“Nevertheless, we know, inter alia, from studies on suicides, that the desire to commit suicide is in most cases the result of fear, despair and hopelessness in extreme situations and cannot be understood as a specific expression of self-determination,” he explains. “That is why Catholic institutions insist on accompanying dying people to their natural end.”
Bishop Anton Losinger also stated that “in this way, an inclined plane is created, along which the ball of active euthanasia rolls faster and faster.”
The dispute over euthanasia in the Church is the result of a decision by the German Federal Constitutional Court, which in February 2020 annulled the ban on commercial assistance in suicide passed by the Bundestag in 2015. In the justification, the judges stated that there is a comprehensive right to self-determination in the matter of dying.