Thursday, July 4, 2019

German court acquits doctors who did not intervene in suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The status of the assisted suicide law in Germany has become more complicated as the German High Court upheld the acquitals of two physicians who did not intervene as patients committed suicide.

According to The Local DE:

Prosecutors had asked the federal court of justice to clear the two defendants, both doctors who did not intervene when their patients deliberately took fatal doses of medication.

Their actions "did not constitute a homicide", presiding judge Norbert Mutzbauer in Leipzig said.

"If the patient kills themselves, even with help from someone else, that person's actions are not punishable under the law."
On July 2, 2018; Germany's health minister decided to stop providing lethal euthanasia drugs.

Both doctors had been charged with homicide, by not intervening in the suicide. Clearly the court is correct to say that the act did not constitute homicide. 

In Germany doctors are forbidden to assist a suicide but they are not required to intervene as someone causes their own death.

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