Dhe President of the German Medical Association has called on the Bundestag parties to finally tackle a new regulation on euthanasia. “In its ruling of February 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court recommended that the Bundestag re-regulate organized euthanasia and improve suicide prevention. Parliament will have to conduct this discussion in the coming months, ”said Klaus Reinhardt to the editorial network in Germany.
“The constitutional court overturned the ban on business-like assisted suicide, but at the same time pointed out protective concepts and security mechanisms in order to set limits to euthanasia organizations,” emphasized the medical president. “As long as that doesn’t happen, self-appointed euthanasia can do what they want. It cannot and must not stay that way, ”said Reinhardt. In addition, suicide prophylaxis must be significantly improved, for example by expanding psychosocial support for the elderly and lonely.
Doctors could adapt the professional code
Reinhardt confirmed that this year’s Doctors’ Day will deal with the topic. “At the Doctors’ Day in May we will discuss whether and if so, how we need to adapt our professional code at this point,” said Reinhardt. In the model professional code of the German Medical Association it currently says: “Doctors are not allowed to provide assistance in suicide.”
“From my point of view, an apodictic ban on medically assisted suicide would hardly be compatible with the Karlsruhe judgment”, warned Reinhardt. However, the medical profession is concerned that a change in the existing professional regulations could give the impression that the medical profession is generally ready for assisted suicide. “That is definitely not the case,” said Reinhardt.
Request to speak shakes churches up
At the beginning of the week, leading Protestant theologians had spoken out in favor of making an assisted professional suicide possible in Germany. In a guest article in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the Chairman of the Chamber for Public Responsibility of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Reiner Anselm, and the President of the Evangelical Welfare Association, Ulrich Lilie, emphasize that church institutions should not refuse to commit suicide.
The position had met with opposition. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EDK) and the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) expressed themselves critically. Assisted suicide would become the norm if even church institutions offered it, warned ZdK President Thomas Sternberg.