With the new paragraph 217 of the criminal code, the policy professional suicide assistants wanted to put the craft. But Karlsruhe is too far: There is a right to self-determination in Dying.
The 2015 introduced ban on commercial euthanasia is a violation of the basic law. There is a right to self-determination in Dying, said the President of the Federal constitutional court, Andreas Voßkuhle, on Wednesday at the announcement of the judgment in Karlsruhe, Germany. This, including the freedom to take their own lives, and to take the offers of third parties. The new Criminal law, section 217 do this largely impossible. The judge declared the ban after complaints from the sick, dying responders and Doctors null and void. (Az. 2 BvR 2347/15, etc.)
Clause 217 provides the "commercial promotion of Selbsttötung" under penalty. In the case of violations up to three years ‘ imprisonment or a fine is threatened. Only members and "Nahestehende", the suicide support, remained so far unpunished. The legislator wanted to prevent assisted Suicide-clubs such as euthanasia Germany or Dignitas of Switzerland to expand their offerings for paying members, and society be capable of. No one should feel under pressure to put an end to his life.
The Criminal law section 217 had triggered many of the Doctors uncertainty
The ban on commercial euthanasia do it is up to the Individual but "to erhalten", in fact, largely impossible, suicide help;. This intervention was not justified. The provision meant, "that the right to suicide in many Parts of drained, in fact, ist", vosskuhle said.
Vosskuhle pointed out that from a medical readiness for suicide help "in a more realistic way of looking at only in the Ausnahmefall" could be assumed. "Doctors show so far, a low level of readiness to make suicide assistance, and are not verpflichtet" this also;, the President of the court said. From the right to self-determination to Die for a crisis "no claim in respect of third parties on Suizidhilfe" from. The Criminal law section 217 had triggered many of the Doctors uncertainty about when you could make yourself liable to prosecution.
Tilted, Criminal law, section 217 injured, according to the judgment, also fundamental rights of associations to provide suicide assistance. The implementation of a decision to suicide is dependent on "to provide that third parties are willing to grant the opportunity for self-killing,. or to vermitteln"
Wide range of options for reform of euthanasia
The Karlsruhe judges made clear that a regulation of euthanasia, in spite of the judgment is possible. The legislator must ensure, however, "to the end that the rights of the Individual, his life self-determined, sufficient space for the development and implementation of verbleibt".
A " am;wide range of possibilities offen", vosskuhle said. These ranged from securing mechanisms, such as statutory education and waiting duties to Prohibited "particularly dangerous manifestations of Suizidhilfe". Appropriate provisions could also be included in criminal law is anchored.
The right to self-killing forbid it but to make the admissibility of a help to self-killing by the Existence of an incurable disease, dependent, stressed the President of the court. He " added with a view to the view of the court, the existing right of each Individual to lead a self-determined Dying:;We like his decision to regret, we must all try to dissuade him, we must accept his free decision, but in the final analysis."
Seriously ill people had complained
Professional die helpers had set up its activities in Germany since then, largely, but in Karlsruhe against the ban complained – as well as several seriously ill people that want to use their services. Behind other constitutional complaints medical Doctors, the fear, to make the palliative medical treatment of terminally ill people punishable are. Some of them also want the freedom to patients, in certain cases, a lethal dose of medication to provide.
Euthanasia-clubs to have their services usually pay. "Geschäftsmäßig" in the legal sense, not commercially, but as much as " means but;to repeat angelegt". Active euthanasia – i.e., killing, on Demand, for example, by a syringe – is and will remain prohibited in Germany. In the case of assisted euthanasia, the lethal drug will be made available only to the Patient takes it himself.
Clear rules needed, when medical help is allowed
According to the judgment of the Federal constitutional court, the SPD demanded in the Bundestag motion of the Minister of health, Jens Spahn (CDU). "Jens Spahn must now aufgeben" his opposition to the levy of the necessary drugs;, SPD said group Vice Bärbel Bas.
Bas said: "The new regulation of euthanasia has led to uncertainty on the part of Physicians." Doctors are in need of legal security. "I wish for clear rules, perhaps especially, when medical accompaniment is allowed, and when commercial services are excluded." The judgment will give the order. "Terminally ill patients who want to end her life, may not alone werden" left;, Bas said.
Church criticised the judgment of the Federal constitutional court
The Christian churches have deeply responded worried on the judgment of the Federal constitutional court for euthanasia. "We fear that the approval of organised offers of the self-killing of old or sick people can put in a subtle way, under pressure, to machen" of such Offers;, informed the Chairman of the Catholic German bishops ‘ conference, Reinhard Marx, and the President of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm,.
The German Palliative Foundation has criticised the judgment. "Now, the facilitation of suicide for the Ill and the life is tired to the normal Dienstleistung", the Foundation commented on Wednesday in Fulda.
Palliative physicians fear the Worst – to relieve Suffering without Killing is possible
The Board of Trustees of the German Palliative Foundation, Carsten Schütz, was: "If a entgrenztes court no longer respects even in such fundamental societal issues, such as the Die, the clear majority decision of the Parliament, it has lost, obviously, every democratic respect." He spoke with a view to the Federal constitutional court by a "Assault of the Almighty to see our final Senats".
The Fulda-based palliative physician, Thomas Sitte said: "Experiences from other countries show that supply creates its own demand. The Palliative care Foundation will also work against the Mainstream so that eventually each know can: to relieve Suffering without Killing is possible." The palliative medicine care with a holistic treatment to terminally ill patients.
The most important questions and answers about the new ruling:
Judgment to euthanasia: What exactly is it about?
Since December 2015, the section 217 provided in the criminal code euthanasia as a service in Germany under penalty. It is up to three years of imprisonment threatened. Punishable made, "who, with the intention of promoting self-killing of another, for that purpose, the business granted the opportunity to give or vermittelt". The policy wanted to put to professional death helpers for the craft, the lethal medication or a death apartment organize – partly against payment. Euthanasia should be in Germany this does not have a place in society.
What does this mean for the law?
The fundamental right to self-determination includes the right to decide freely about their own death. Unlike active euthanasia – the euthanasia is assisted suicide, therefore, in principle, exempt from punishment. So also paragraph 217 explicitly members and "Nahestehende" from. In addition, it was generally accepted that physicians no longer have to renounce life-prolonging measures, if the Patient would like. On the palliative care unit or in the hospice Doctors were allowed to analgesic drugs give, the mountains, the risk that the Patient dies sooner (help to Die).
Clause 217 should close a gap. According to the new ruling of Wednesday this clause violate the basic law, since there is a right to self-determination in Dying. This, including the freedom to take their own lives, and to take the offers of third parties.
What was the impact of the prohibition of assistance in dying?
The Hamburg-based club euthanasia Germany of Ex-justice Senator Roger Kusch had to put its activities largely on hold. By 2015 254 number of members had taken, according to the Association statistics, the life. In the meantime, however, there is the Swiss offshoot StHD: German wishing to Die can send since 2018 the families of Zurich, the fatal drug and "detailed Anleitung" comes back.
Others moved all the way to Switzerland: There we have taken alone, the euthanasia-Dignitas between 1998 and 2019, a total of 1322 German life, which are nearly 44 percent of all the Dignitas cases. Apart from the Associations of the sick people who were not able to take the help of a claim sued in Karlsruhe.
How is the Situation of the seriously ill plaintiffs?
Two of the plaintiffs, which help Germany death according to the tests provided for suicide support had said, died during the long procedure. "I durchgehalten", the cancer Horst L. says in April 2019 at the hearing. The strength he drew from the Knowledge to be able to Not even pull the ripcord.
Since the ban, the Serenity was there. Another plaintiff who suffers from incurable lung disease COPD, said before the verdict to the "Spiegel": "I do not accept that a few Hundred parliamentarians to decide on how I die."
How to see the judges Section 217?
They kept the ban for to a large extent . During the trial, court President Andreas Voßkuhle stressed a fundamental right to suicide. He expressed his concerns in the run-up to the "You will find at the moment is probably not a doctor who can help you." Because "geschäftsmäßig" has nothing to do with money but means so much as "to repeat angelegt".
Palliative physicians feared, therefore, to make punishable by law – if you give critically ill opiates for relief in potentially lethal doses of home or when "Sterbefasten" People who do not want to eat and drink more. Other Doctors have complained, because they would severely help sick people with a death wish in hopeless situations like that.
Judgment on euthanasia like: What are the other solutions would be possible?
Ultimately, it is a matter of national policy, to develop a constitutional amendment. In the trial notes of the judge’s bench is critical that the state have, of all things, the sweetest kind of suicide, in fact, impossible. Here, there seems to be a relevant group of people, the desires of this variant.
Several times the idea of a consulting solution appears at that time, similar to the termination of a pregnancy is accompanied by stringent security mechanisms such as a Commission of control or mandatory waiting periods up to the closing. Vosskuhle at the time: "Then Mr L. had a Chance."
What is the impact of the euthanasia ruling yet?
The Federal administrative court has spoken in 2017, a sensational verdict: "In the extreme Einzelfall" the state should a terminally ill a narcotic not deny that this "a dignified and painless suicide ermöglicht". This is not part of the Karlsruhe method.
Under reference to Paragraph 217 of the health Minister, Jens Spahn (CDU) since then, but the competent Federal government institution to refuse all requests of sick people – now more than 100. Now will have to Spahn may have to re-position. Or he waits for the next decision: After the claims of rejected applicant, the administrative court of Cologne has suspended several procedures and the cases in Karlsruhe, Germany, submitted.
You can also read on the topic of euthanasia:
- Pro euthanasia: I’m afraid not to be allowed to die
- Die to desire? Views show how difficult a judgment to make, euthanasia is
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