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German court decides that people do not have the right to purchase suicide drugs even though they do have the right to assisted suicide

by | Feb 8, 2022

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In February 2020, Germany’s highest court created a “right to a self-determined death” and therefore legalized assisted suicide. 

On February 2, 2022, a German court in Münster upheld a restriction to assisted suicide by deciding that people do not have the right to purchase lethal drugs for suicide. 

According to the DW news story:

The decision was the result of a case in which three chronically ill people requested special permission from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) to be allowed to buy the drugs needed to die by suicide.

The regional higher administrative court said the institute was not “obliged to allow seriously ill people who have decided to commit suicide the purchase” of lethal drugs for this purpose.

The court acknowledged that people could die by suicide with the assistance of a doctor or they could receive treatment for their symptoms, but the court upheld the law which prohibits people from purchasing controlled substances.

Eugen Brysch, the leader of the German Foundation for the Protection of Patients, which opposes assisted suicide, stated:

“It is good that lawmakers cannot be forced to soften the clear prohibition of the provision of lethal agents”

I am concerned that this decision will be appealed to Germany’s highest court. Nonetheless this judge correctly decided that only a democratically elected government could change the law.

Too bad Germany’s highest court didn’t follow that rationale 2 years ago.

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

Categories: Assisted Suicide
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