• Germany's news in English

MPs set out assisted suicide bill

DPA/The Local · 18 Jun 2015, 08:41

Published: 18 Jun 2015 08:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to the bill, doctors would be allowed to give patients lethal doses of medication when the patient has a mortal illness and is suffering extreme pain.

The bill has cross party support and was presented jointly by Peter Hintze of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Carola Reimann deputy leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the Bundestag (German Parliament).

The MPs say that the bill aims to bring clarification to an issue which is currently practiced differently in different parts of the country. In Bavaria, doctors currently practice assisted suicide whereas in Berlin, the medical chamber forbids it.

But the president of the Federal Medical Chamber (BÄK) Frank Ulrich Montgomery said that he was against the proposal.

"One shouldn’t die on account of one’s doctor. Rather the doctors should assist you while you die," he told ARD’s Morgenmagazin.

The first reading of the bill is set for July 2nd, shortly before the summer break. In November the Bundestag is expected to vote on the bill.

Reimann said that if the bill were to become law, the financial basis behind "assisted suicide clubs" would be undermined and nobody would need to travel abroad for the purpose in the future.

Hintze pointed out that helping someone commit suicide has been de facto legal in Germany for 150 years, as one cannot face charges for it.

But the law is not without its opponents as several other political groups plan to propose their own bills on the matter.

One group of CDU politicians, led by Patrick Sensburg (CDU) and Thomas Dörflinger (CDU), want to tighten the restrictions on assisted suicide and make any form of assistance illegal except in cases where the person is suffering under extreme pain.

A group of Green and Linke (Left Party) politicians meanwhile wants to protect the fact that assisting in a suicide is not punishable by law while strengthening the sentencing against those who do so for personal profit.

A further group which counts members from all four major parties (Union, SPD, Green and Linke) wants to make it punishable to promote assisted suicide for financial gain.

All the MPs involved in the various groups agree though that clearer laws on assisted suicide are necessary to help those in palliative care.


For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd