Suicide – Responsibility, Prevention and Autonomy

An English translation of the executive summary of the Opinion is available for download. The full report will be translated in due course.

Published: 22 September 2022

The German Ethics Council uses selected case vignettes to illustrate the scope and complexity of phenomena related to suicidality, defines more precisely the internal and external preconditions for fully autonomous suicide decisions, and highlights the different responsibilities of various stakeholders in the context of suicide decisions and suicide prevention. Suicide decisions need to fulfil particularly demanding requirements in order to be recognised as fully autonomous. According to the Ethics Council, suicide prevention will only have lasting success if professionals and private individuals or facilities, as well as governmental and civil society institutions coordinate their efforts, as required by the principle of multi-actor responsibility.