News from Europe

German doctors will be allowed to engage in assisted suicide

The German Medical Association has decided to significantly change the national code of professional ethics in its industry. From now on, its representatives will be able to enable desperate patients to adopt measures that will result in suicide.


The door to launch the so-called passive aid in the suicide of terminally ill people was opened during the annual meeting of an organisation with nearly 150 years of tradition. The majority of those gathered voted in favour of this solution.

According to the new rules, doctors will be able to provide passive help in suicide to people who will desire it and are in the final stage of an incurable disease. Passive help means that it will be possible to deliver a lethal drug to the patient, which he must, however, take himself.

One year ago, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in favour of providing passive assistance in death. The body assessing the application of the basic law stated that everyone has the right to determine the end of their life and to practical help from medical services in committing suicide. The Court obliged the parliament to introduce a relevant act. None of the several bills has been voted on yet. It is unlikely to happen before Germany goes to the polls to take part in the Bundestag elections in September.


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