Passive euthanasia: the right to suicide in extreme and exceptional situations

Seriously ill people can claim to be medications for pain-free self-killing. “In extreme and exceptional situations” should not be denied the same, decided on Thursday the Federal administrative court in Leipzig. Patients conservationists criticized the decision immediately.

Complained a man of Braunschweig, for his now deceased wife. Since an accident in 2002, she was paralyzed from the neck down completely. She had to be artificially ventilated and was constantly in need of medical attention and care. Frequent seizures caused her severe pain.

Woman had to to Die in Switzerland

Condition of the woman is felt as unbearable and degrading. In 2004, they therefore applied to the Federal Institute for drugs and medical devices (BfArM) for permission to purchase a lethal dose of sodium Pentobarbital for self-killing. The BfArM refused. Then, the woman traveled in 2005 in Switzerland and there with the help of the Association Dignitas, in the life.

In his complaint, her husband demanded a finding that the refusal of the fatal drug dose was unlawful. All the way up to the Federal constitutional court, the German courts said, however, that the husband could not sue because he was not even affected. First, the European court of human rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg ruled in 2012 that the man is entitled to a decision.

In the resumed proceedings, the husband remained in the instances, first, again without success. The Federal administrative court quashed those judgments now. The refusal of a drug for self-killing was unlawful.

Judges invoke the right to self-determination

To justify the Leipzig judges referred to the right to the General right of personality. This includes "to decide the right of a severely and terminally ill patients, how and when to end his life soll&quot be;. A prerequisite is that the Patient "its free form and, accordingly, kann&quot act;.

According to the legal requirements, the purchase of deadly drugs &quot could;grundsätzlich" will not be allowed. Because of the right to self-determination, it must be able to, in extreme cases, but exceptions for terminally ill people, "if you have decided, because of their unbearable living situation, and seriously, your life will end wollen" and if there is no palliative medical Alternatives.

This would have to check the BfArM, was the verdict of the Federal administrative court. Here, this is no longer subsequently possible.

Patients protectors of complaints open Definition

The German Foundation for patient protection, criticized the decision as a "praxisfern". "Because what is unbearable suffering situation remains offen", the management Board Eugen Brysch told the news Agency AFP. Suffering is "neither objectively measurable nor legally valid in General to definieren".

In addition, Brysch defendant a "Slap in the face of suicide prevention in Deutschland". It was "well, that of the Bundestag in November 2015, the business standard suicide aid prohibited hat". "Otherwise, death’s helpers in Germany would organize the death out of the Yellow pages, with the backing of the Federal administrative court können", Brysch said.