Friday, December 17, 2021

Austria legalizes assisted suicide for people with disabilities

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Austria Parliament
Bad news: Austria's parliament passed a bill, yesterday, legalizing assisted suicide. The assisted suicide bill is a reaction to last year's Austrian Supreme Court decision. Wesley Smith stated that the Austrian Supreme Court said that the right to self-determination includes the right to a “dignified death,” and also the right of a person who has decided of their own free will to kill himself or herself to get help in doing so from another person.

The Associated Press referred to it as a tightly limited right to assisted suicide whereas my analysis of the bill found that the language of the bill specifically permits assisted suicide for people with disabilities who are not otherwise dying.

On October 26 I wrote that the Austrian bill states that chronically or terminally ill adults to make provisions for an assisted suicide. When assisted suicide is permitted for chronically ill people the law will become fairly wide open. Many people with disabilities, who are not otherwise dying, have chronic conditions.

DW news reported that:
The Assisted Suicide Act gives the option of an advance directive — similar to a living will — only to people over 18 who are terminally ill or suffer from a permanent, debilitating condition.

Each case is to be assessed by two doctors, one of whom would have to be an expert in palliative medicine. As part of their duties, they must determine whether a patient is opting for euthanasia independently.

At least 12 weeks must pass before a patient is granted access to the procedure, to ensure that euthanasia is not being sought due to a temporary crisis. However, for patients in the "terminal phase" of an illness, the period can be shortened to two weeks.
The Austrian assisted suicide law, which is tauted as a tightly worded law, is similar to other assisted suicide laws with the exception that it contains a longer waiting period but the person does not need too be dying. The language of the bill permits assisted suicide for people with disabilities who are not otherwise dying.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Germany had won World War II, this is exactly the type of law that it would be imposing on Austria. Unfortunately, in the 21st century it isn't external totalitarian nations that are forcing these laws on other counties. it is the Supreme Courts and legislative bodies (which are filled with leftist-educated, anti-religion members) who are imposing legal murder on their own most vulnerable people. It happened that way in Canada, in Germany, and now in Austria.

dougsned said...

Good on Austria! Glad the bible-thumpers didn't win. I'm glad this option exists here in Canada too

Sswan said...

Shameful ... I am NOT glad that it is in Canada

ya813062 said...

Good fo Austria, I hope the also allow it for people with mental illness alone.

ya813062 said...

Great! I hope that they legalize it for people with mental illness alone soon!

ya813062 said...

EPC is evil