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Germany’s Health Minister decides to stop providing euthanasia drugs

by | Jul 3, 2018

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In March 2017, Germany’s federal Court decided that doctors could prescribe lethal drugs to their patients.

The decision created a dilemma because article 217 of Germany’s Criminal Code prohibits the promotion of suicide.

Last week, the future Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn requested that the Bonn Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices “refuse applications” for euthanasia drugs.

Deputy Health Minister, Lutz Stroppe wrote in a letter reported by German news outlets Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that the Health Ministry decided to stop providing euthanasia drugs.

Deutche Welle news reported

In view of “fundamental and far-reaching questions, particularly constitutional questions … It cannot be the task of the state to actively support suicidal acts through the official, administrative approval of the acquisition of the specific suicide agent,” deputy health minister Lutz Stroppe wrote.

“This is not compatible with the purpose of the Narcotics Act to ensure the necessary medical care of the population. A suicide cannot be considered therapy,” the letter continued.

According to Deutche Welle news, 108 applications for lethal drugs have been submitted since the March 2017 court decision and at least 20 of those people died from lethal drugs.

The German Health Ministry is right, assisting a suicide is not healthcare and it is contrary to the purpose of medicine.

It is likely that the order by the Minister of Health will be challenged in court by the euthanasia lobby.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia