Three proposals in the Bundestag
Euthanasia must be reorganized
05/18/2022 10:24 AM
In 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court overturned the euthanasia ban. The proposals for the new regulation are now scheduled to be discussed in the Bundestag. One proposed bill states that assisted suicide should be punished as a matter of principle. But there are also voices for more liberal regulation.
The Bundestag launched a new attempt to regulate euthanasia by law. Action was needed since the Federal Constitutional Court struck down the regulation at the time two years ago. The Bundestag discussed this topic a good year ago, but because of the federal elections no decision has been made.
Why should there be a new law on euthanasia?
At the beginning of 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court overturned the ban on euthanasia that had been in place until then. Since then, euthanasia has gone unpunished again and is possible without any state regulation. The ban at that time was only passed in 2015.
What did Karlsruhe decide?
Karlsruhe judges ruled that the ban on commercial euthanasia regulated in Section 217 of the Criminal Code at the time restricted the right to decide death too much.
The general right of personality includes the freedom to commit suicide and to seek help from a third party. It is also not limited to serious or incurable diseases, but is present “in every stage of human existence”. The legislature is now bound by this decision.
What are the proposals for the new organization?
Commercial Suicide Criminalization Act:
A bill backed by more than 80 lawmakers stipulated that “commercial promotion of suicide” should be punished in principle. Accordingly, commercial assisted suicide should not be illegal if the person willing to commit suicide is “of legal age and able to understand”, has been examined at least twice by a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and has completed at least one open-ended consultation.
There must be at least three months between at least the two exam dates. According to the draft, there should be a “waiting period” of at least two weeks between the final investigation and the suicide.
The draft also states a new section 217a against “advertising of assisted suicide.” According to this, anyone who offers euthanasia “for their own financial benefit or in an extremely offensive manner” should be punished. Initiators include Lars Castellucci (SPD), Ansgar Hefling (CDU), Kirsten Kapert-Gunther (Greenz), Stefan Pilsinger (CSU), Benjamin Strasser (FDP) and Katherine Vogler (left).
Assisted Suicide Law:
Another group is striving for an organization in which the right to legally decide to die is guaranteed. The application provides regulations outside the criminal law. Specifically, the plan is to create a network of state-recognized counseling centers that will provide open information to those who are ready to die.
Physicians should not be allowed to prescribe drugs for suicide, such as the pentobarbital sodium sleeping pill, for at least ten days after this consultation. The initiators are Catherine Helling Blair, FDP deputies, Otto Frick, Petra Seit (left) and Helge Lind (SPD).
Protection of the Right to Die to Self-Determination Law:
A group led by green politicians Rinat Konst and Katja Keul aims for a more liberal organisation. According to this, clinicians should be able to prescribe medication for suicide if those who wish to die are in a medical emergency associated with severe suffering, especially severe pain.
But according to the project, it must be ascertained from a medical point of view “that it is a foreseeable desire that is no longer subject to change.” In addition, another physician must confirm that the requirements for prescribing the lethal drug have been met.
What is the timetable for legislation?
After Wednesday’s orientation discussion, drafts will be discussed on first reading before the summer break. Hearings will be held after the recess and a decision can be made in October.