German Constitutional Court Repeals Ban on Assisted Suicide

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(Evangelical Focus) The German Constitutional Court has ruled that paragraph 217 of the Criminal Code, in force since 2015 and stipulating jail sentences of up to five years for those who help people who wish to end their lives, breaches the Constitution.

The 2015 regulation was controversial for a long time, because although it banned commercial assisted suicide, it allowed family members and doctors to practice it, if it was not aimed at repetition and was limited to an individual case. …

According to Judge Vosskuhle, the Constitution “includes a right to a self-determined death, which encompasses the freedom to take one’s own life and use assistance provided voluntarily by third parties.”

The court goes further and states that assisted suicide services should not be limited to the seriously or incurably ill, since “the freedom to choose one’s death is guaranteed in all stages of a person’s existence.”

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