After the Federal Constitutional Court declared in its judgment of 26 February 2020 the prohibition of (professionalised) assisted suicide services (Section 217 of the Criminal Code [Strafgesetzbuch]) unconstitutional, there is a controversial discussion – not only among experts but also in the wider public – about possible new regulations. Currently, the German Bundestag is dealing with several draft bills which are subject to free vote.
Against this background, on 5 April 2022 the German Ethics Council invited the members of the Bundestag to a parliamentary orientation discussion about possible new regulations on suicide assistence. On this occasion, several council members presented selected aspects of the topic in short keynote speeches drawing on their respective expertise. Almost 100 members of the Bundestag and parliamentary assistants took part in the following open discussion with the members of the Ethics Council.
The German Ethics Council is currently working on an Opinion that aims to foster a more nuanced debate and examine the different categories and constellations of death and suicide wishes as well as their embedding in the complex phenomenon of suicidality. The focus is on clarifying central concepts such as freedom, autonomy, self-determination and responsibility, as well as, in particular, on analysing under which conditions a suicidal action is to be considered fully responsible.
Please switch to the German version of this website to see the programme.