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Euthanasia: Germany's highest court made a landmark ruling

 
 
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 09:52 am
Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has ruled that euthanasia with patient consent is not a criminal offence. The decision was made in a case concerning a woman in her seventies who fell into a coma in 2002. Despite her specific wish not to be kept alive under such circumstances, doctors maintained her vegetative state. Five years passed before the patient’s daughter decided to follow her lawyer's advice in 2007, and cut her mother’s feeding tube. The lawyer was charged with attempted manslaughter, but he appealed the decision and was acquitted.

BBC: German court legalises euthanasia with patient consent

NYT: German Court Widens Rules for Assisted Suicide

As a side note: in German, it's neither 'euthanasia' ("Euthanasie") nor 'assisted suicide' ("Beihilfe zum Selbstmord") - the first could be a criminal offence, the latter always is and has been allowed (suicid is no criminal offence: thus, assistance to a non-criminal act can't be illegal) but 'help to die' ("Sterbehilfe").
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 7,578 • Replies: 28
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 09:53 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Wow. Can't say I disagree with the decision.

I wonder if Germany is going to see a rise of assisted-death tourism, strange as that sounds...

Cycloptichorn
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 09:54 am
@Walter Hinteler,
good for them, it's despicable that we can treat our pets with more dignity then our human family members
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:01 am
@djjd62,
I agree. If a person is of sound mind and has made a decision, it should be honored. Why have DNR bracelets then? You should not be forced to live a life you don't value.

An elderly woman I knew who had a DNR bracelet had an incident and her heart stopped in the hospital but the staff at the hospital ignored it and resuscitated her. She was really pissed!
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:08 am
@Walter Hinteler,
yay!!!
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:12 am
Its about time someone did it. I find the act itself morally objectionable, yet who am I to say that another can't do it, its his/her own life.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:14 am
@GoshisDead,
One of my friends is going to try to get a euthanasia bill through our state parliament...she's in Amsterdam now...sounds like she should hop on to Germany.

We had legal euthanasia in the Northern Territory briefly, but the Feds were able to overturn it because they are not quite a full state yet. Bastids!
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:34 am
@dlowan,
I just find anti-euthenasia laws hypocritical, and ridiculous like anti-suicide laws.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:38 am
Healthcare workers aren't on a quest to keep people alive through extraordinary means. A hospital isn't intended to create a freak show.

In cases where they don't honor a person's wish, there's some legal liability involved. Pervasively, hospitals in the US are bound by government regulation on one side and the threat of criminal and civil suits on the other. Most hospitals have ethics committees, but they don't have decision making power... that power is still with the relative who is apt to bring a suit. So what happens is attempts are made to explain the situation to the relative... we can make grandma breathe, we can make her heart beat, we can feed her.

In the past, a doctor would tell a family: "we've done all we can do... grandma's going to die now." These days, the doctor pretty much owns the time of death. He requires that the family put in writing: "Let grandma die." This is a terrible situation to put relatives in. So many people are in no way prepared to face it. The problem has existed for decades now. A financial crunch promises to force us as a society to deal with the issue. It's one of those things where only society as a whole can address it. No particular individual can.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:39 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I wonder if Germany is going to see a rise of assisted-death tourism, strange as that sounds...

Doesn't sound strange at all. Switzerland used to get a lot of that.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:41 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
I find the act itself morally objectionable, yet who am I to say that another can't do it, its his/her own life.

I'm not quite sure how that fits together. What is it about the act that you're morally objecting to?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:58 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

I agree. If a person is of sound mind and has made a decision, it should be honored. Why have DNR bracelets then? You should not be forced to live a life you don't value.

An elderly woman I knew who had a DNR bracelet had an incident and her heart stopped in the hospital but the staff at

the hospital ignored it and resuscitated her.

She was really pissed!
Did she sue ?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:01 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

I just find anti-euthenasia laws hypocritical, and ridiculous like anti-suicide laws.


i prefer the American idea of Death Panels, cut out the middle man


wait, what Confused
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:03 am
@djjd62,

Is that like a firing squad ?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:04 am
@OmSigDAVID,
a figment of the imagination of a Ms. Sarah P
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:08 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

GoshisDead wrote:
I find the act itself morally objectionable, yet who am I to say that another can't do it, its his/her own life.

I'm not quite sure how that fits together. What is it about the act that you're morally objecting to?


As you may have gathered from other threads I have strong theistic tendencies and one of those is suicide is a sin. Laws regarding it, however, are ridiculous. Its a choice like any other thing between a person and his/her maker, although I understand that religious groups and such have as much right as anyone else to influence laws in any particular country, I just don't find those laws to be practical or necessary. I find laws about it ridiculous like the laws in another thread a week or so back, about adultry laws. Wow that was a lot of laws in a single post, maybe if I type laws a couple more times I can be the king of laws posting in laws threads.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:13 am
@GoshisDead,
Thanks for the explanation, GoshisDead.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:14 am
I am not seeing the same state that claims the right to "keep me safe" by making wear a seat belt, and by trying to strong arm me into eating "healthy" food, is going to give up the claim that they have the right to try to prevent me from checking out of life.
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:20 am
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Mame wrote:

I agree. If a person is of sound mind and has made a decision, it should be honored. Why have DNR bracelets then? You should not be forced to live a life you don't value.

An elderly woman I knew who had a DNR bracelet had an incident and her heart stopped in the hospital but the staff at

the hospital ignored it and resuscitated her.

She was really pissed!
Did she sue ?
Her lawyer would have to explain why she was in the hospital, accepting care, in the first place. The hospital could easily explain why, when in doubt, they would resuscitate. If a mistake was made... is it not better to reivive a person who didn't want that... than to fail to revive someone who did want to wake up again, no matter in what condition? The first is unfortunate, as a person ideally,should die with dignity. The second is a big fat settlement.

No one can insure that death will come with dignity. It's the nature of the thing. And doctor's don't have crystal balls. A person may be suicidal one day and not the next.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:24 am
This reminds me of how backward the U.S. is, thanks mostly but not all, of the radical religious right, which are similar to the Taliban's religious control of their people without the terrorism.

BBB
 

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