July 5, 2022

German docs keep ban on assisted suicide

After a heated debate German doctors have voted to maintain a ban on doctors assisting patients who wish to commit suicide. The vote was convincing: 166 against 56, with 7 abstentions. The president of the Federal Medical Council, Joerg-Dietrich Hoppe, declared: “Physicians must assist the dying, while respecting their dignity and respecting their intentions. But they are forbidden to kill patients at their request. You must not assist a suicide. “

After a heated debate German
doctors have voted to maintain a ban on doctors assisting patients who wish to
commit suicide. The vote was convincing: 166
against 56, with 7 abstentions. The president of the Federal Medical Council, Joerg-Dietrich
Hoppe, declared:
“Physicians must assist the dying, while respecting their dignity and
respecting their intentions. But they are forbidden to kill patients at their
request. You must not assist a suicide. ”

Dr Hoppe indicated
that cases of physician-assisted suicide are rare and a few months ago he apparently
suggested that if doctors assisted in good conscience without any qualms, “we
would not break a stick over their heads”. However, the professional code is
binding and violations could potentially lead to deregistration. The World
Federation of Right to Die Societies had foreshadowed a change in policy; its blog described the decision as “an unpleasant
surprise”. ARD.de, June 1

Michael Cook
assisted suicide
Germany