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German Minister blocks medication provision for euthanasia

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn (CDU), decided in individual applications for lethal medicines, that these should not be provided.
123 applications were made, 93 of them were refused by the minister. In no case the minister gave permission. 22 people died while their application was being processed. With this acting, Spahn opposes a ruling by the highest German administrative court in March 2017. This ruling stipulated that the government should help seriously ill patients who want to die, to the medication. The Ministry of Health does not want to carry out the judgment because it does not want the state being obliged to assist in suicide. (Read the full article in the German newspaper der Tagesspeigel.)

 

Already in 2018, the German Ministry of Health called for the medical regulatory body to stop allowing seriously ill people access to euthanasia drugs.(Read the WF newsitem about it.)

 

In 2017, the Federal Administrative Court of Germany decided that article 2.1 (the general right to personality), combined with article 2.2 (the right to life) and in connection with article 1.1 (protection of human dignity) of the Constitution of Germany comprises the right of a severe and incurably ill patient to decide how and at what time his or her life shall end, provided that he or she is in a position to make up his or her own mind in that respect and act accordingly. The Court found, even though it was generally not possible to allow purchasing a narcotic substance for the purpose of suicide, there had to be exceptions. If a severe and incurably ill patient, due to his or her unbearable suffering, freely and seriously decides to wish an end to his or her life, and if there was no reasonable alternative available – such as to end treatment accompanied by palliative care, such a patient should not be barred from accessing prescribe narcotics for a dignified and painless suicide. (Read the WF newsitem about it.)

 

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