A disagreement has arisen in Germany over assisted suicide laws. During a discussion of how to implement a previous agreement by the coalition government to ban commercial assisted suicide, the country’s libertarian justice minister has proposed that the law exempt from prosecution any person or group offering “profit-free” assistance in suicide to a terminally ill person. This exemption would include “friends, long-term housemates, …doctors, and carers”.
The current legal status of assisted suicide in Germany is unclear. The potential for prosecution exists and is a deterrent.
Within the government, the German health minister strongly objects to the exemption, citing its potential for abuse. Opposition has also come from outside the government. The head of the German Hospice Association said the justice minister’s proposal would lead to “social acceptance of assisted suicide”. The president of the German Medical Association told the press the idea is “something from a madhouse”. He said German doctors can’t and won’t assist in suicide.
Here’s a link to the article in The Local, an English language website reporting from Germany: