Draft law provides for aid only after consultation

EIn a cross-party draft law around the members of the Bundestag Lars Castellucci (SPD), Ansgar Heveling (CDU), Kirsten Kappert-Gonther (Greens) as well as Benjamin Strasser (FDP) and Kathrin Vogler (Left) wants to limit assisted suicide to adults and persons capable of insight. It is the most restrictive of three proposals to reorganize euthanasia that will be discussed in the new Bundestag.

Heike Schmoll

Political correspondent in Berlin, responsible for “Bildungswelten”.

In order to rule out possible external pressure on the disabled or mentally ill, according to the draft, a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy who was not involved in the suicide must confirm that the decision to commit suicide is voluntary, serious and of a permanent nature. The suicidal person must have at least two psychiatric examinations spaced at least three months apart. In the meantime, a counseling session is planned, in which addiction and debt counseling should be included in addition to doctors.

“Thoughts of suicide are usually volatile,” said Green Party politician Kappert-Gonther at the presentation of the draft in Berlin. To ensure that a potentially solvable and temporary condition does not prematurely become an irreversible decision to commit suicide, certain waiting periods should be observed. According to the draft, this period can be shortened if someone suffers from an “incurable, progressive and advanced disease with a limited life expectancy”.

Children and young people under the age of 18 should generally not be able to claim assisted suicide. The draft law of the deputies, which the Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) and Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) also support in their deputy function, is flanked by the motion to expand suicide prevention in Germany and to create more counseling services.


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