In 2015, the ban by German Parliament on professionally assisted suicide forced the Verein Deutsche Sterbehilfe, the only assisted suicide association in Germany, to temporarily stop its activities. However, the association seems to have found a way of circumventing legislation by directing assisted suicide requests from Germans to the Zurich sector of its business, which now acts independently.
The patient and a relative must initially travel to Switzerland. After expressing his/her wishes, the patient’s request is filmed and registered, and the lethal substance will be prescribed. When the person wants to die, the relative will go to Zurich to collect the substance for the patient.
The association which currently has 400 members, 300 of whom are in Switzerland, intends to comply with legislation in both countries: “We are not violating any German law and are not committing any crime. This is basically about assisted suicide,” explains Roger Kusch, founder of the Zurich subsidiary. In Germany, although professionally assisted suicide is banned by German legislation, assisted suicide by relatives is not. The association is also counting on co-operation with the Swiss Public Prosecutor.
Le Matin (29/01/2018)