In Germany, four draft bills have been examined since 2 July. They concern “cases in which suicide may be assisted”. At present, “assisted suicide is tolerated, regardless of whether it is carried out by a relative or is organised and commercialised”. “A decision on a possible change in the law could be taken in November”.
On 1 July, right at the heart of the parliamentary debates, Cardinal Rheinard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, and Protest Bishop of Bavaria, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, signed a mutual declaration confirming “their refusal to accept any organised form of assisted suicide”. They wished to “strongly” remind us “that the way in which we treat diseases and death is a fundamental question of our humanity and social identity”.
They are afraid of corruption of care: “The elderly or those with a disability or serious disease and therefore in a difficult situation are often afraid of being a burden to others. They would therefore tend to be subjected to a form of subtle social pressure. We view this as a significant threat to the dignity of human life”.
They are therefore calling on politicians to take the necessary steps to develop palliative care: “Society and politicians serving our country in particular, are called upon to protect life in all its fragility and vulnerability and to create conditions whereby humans have access to medical care at the end of life”.