Euthanasia: Federal Constitutional Court tilts paragraph 217
By Andrew Stones
The debate about euthanasia and the extent to which these seriously ill people are to be treated is by no means new. Today, however, the Federal Constitutional Court passed a ruling that brought serious changes.
Clause 217 prohibits business-like euthanasia
So far, paragraph 2017 regulated the issues related to business euthanasia. Paragraph of the Criminal Code precluded legal business-related euthanasia. " Anyone who, with the intention of promoting the suicide of someone else, has the business opportunity to do so ... will be punished with a custodial sentence of up to three years or a fine, " says the paragraph 2015was introduced. The background: On the one hand, suicide should not be socially acceptable, on the other hand it should not become a profitable business for professional assistants. In addition, sick people should not feel pressured to put an end to their lives, for example to provide financial or emotional relief in the family. The only exception was support for suicide by relatives and close relatives. Judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court enables euthanasia, euthanasia
organizations, seriously ill people and doctors teamed up to shake paragraph 217 - with success. The judges of the Federal Constitutional Court declared the previous legal situation unconstitutional today. Clause 217is therefore void. The reason: There is a right to self-determined death. Everyone has the freedom to choose to commit suicide while using third-party offers. Active euthanasia is and remains prohibited.
It is also important to make a clear distinction between active and assisted euthanasia. The latter is legally possible through the current ruling, while the former is still prohibited. With active support, the euthanasia causes death himself, which can happen, for example, by putting a lethal injection. Assisted euthanasia also provides the patient with a lethal medication, but he has to administer it himself. Minister of Health Spahn must act
Health Minister Spahn is considered a vehement opponent of euthanasia and is particularly opposed to the supply of the medication needed for this. The judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court now forces him to act. The deputy group leader of the SPD, Bärbel Bas , explicitly asked him to give up his resistance. " Seriously ill patients who want to end their lives on their own should not be left alone, " said Bas. That's what the network says about euthanasia
Euthanasia is an emotionally charged topic, which is also reflected in the numerous related discussions on social media. Some advocate today's verdict and see it as a milestone on the road to greater self-determination about death, others fear dramatic consequences. Caritas Germany tweeted:
"# Suicide cannot be the solution! Therefore, we regret today's decision of the Federal Constitutional Court on active #term assistants - and call for dignity to be allowed with good hospice and palliative care. “
? https://twitter.com/Caritas_web/status/1232614738015727616 Renate Künast , Member of the Bundestag of the Greens, welcomes the decision against:
" I am very happy that @BVerfG has declared the 217 SCC unconstitutional and void. The right to autonomous self-determination prohibits making it impossible to get help. “