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Germany’s Jewish community opposes assisted suicide as the nation about to debate the issue

by | Nov 4, 2015

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Josef Schuster, a physician and member of the Central Ethics Committee of the German Medical Association

Josef Schuster, a physician and member of the Central Ethics Committee of the German Medical Association

The German Bundestag [Parliament] 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 Hermann Gröhe has stated that he supports a ban on the business of assisted suicide, such as occurs at the suicide clinics in Switzerland.

As the Jewish Times [www.timesofisrael.com/germanys-jewish-group-warns-lawmakers-on-euthanasia-law] observed:

Euthanasia is a particularly sensitive topic in Germany, as an estimated 200,000 people — most of them mentally and physically handicapped — were murdered in the Nazi “euthanasia” program, their lives considered “unworthy” by the state.

On Monday, Germany’s Jewish community stated its opposition. According to the Jewish Times, Central Council of Jews 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.

The German Medical Association opposes euthanasia.

Editor’s note. This appeared at alexschadenberg.blogspot.com and is reprinted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide