Assisted suicide has been de facto legal in Germany without any restrictions for almost two years.
The legislature did not bring about this state of affairs.
It was the Federal Constitutional Court that in February 2020, in the name of “autonomous self-determination”, rejected the paragraph of criminal law with which the Bundestag in 2015 had criminalized commercial suicide assistance for the first time.
If the relevant domestic and right-wing politicians of all democratic parties in the newly elected Bundestag have their way, then the questionable paragraph 217 of the Criminal Code will not – as many feared – be dropped entirely, but made constitutional. What's more, the legislative protection concept that they are developing in their draft law on assisted suicide presented on Thursday ensures that a decision to commit suicide is freely responsible to an extent that pushes the limits of what, according to the Federal Constitutional Court's interpretation, still has to do with the Basic Law is compatible.
However, this strength could also be its weakness, should the draft law find a majority in the Bundestag in this form or in a slightly modified form.
The euthanasia associations will not rest until the Federal Constitutional Court orders them and not just the legislature to stop.