Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Germany's Jewish community opposes assisted suicide, while the nation debates the issue.

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The German Bundestag is scheduled to debate four assisted suicide proposals on Friday November 6. The Handelsblatt Global Edition reported, in a mostly pro-euthanasia article, that the four proposals range from complete liberalization to completely protecting people from euthanasia and assisted suicide. According to the article:
It’s encouraging how openly parliament is discussing the subject. Four motions will be on the agenda on November 6, when the Bundestag votes on how assisted suicide will be handled in the future. Proposals range from drastic penalties for anyone who assists in a suicide to complete liberalization of euthanasia, even for those who are not sick.
Germany's Health Minister, for instance, has stated that he supports a ban on the business of assisted suicide, such as occurs at the suicide clinics in Switzerland.

On Monday, Germany's Jewish community stated their opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide. According to the Jewish Times:
The Central Council of Jews in Germany said Monday that there must be no liberalization of assisted suicide in the country.
Josef Schuster
Central Council President Josef Schuster, a physician and member of the Central Ethics Committee of the German Medical Association, said:

“Seriously ill and elderly people should not be pushed to commit suicide,” 
“Assisted suicide must not become a regular service provided by doctors, an alternative to care for the dying,”
Schuster urged more support for hospice and palliative care.

In December 2014, the German Ethics Council rejected a change in the assisted suicide law. In September 2014, the memorial to the T-4 euthanasia program victims opened in Berlin.

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