For a long time it was unclear whether there would still be an orientation debate on euthanasia.

Last spring, the Bundestag had already discussed what follows from the constitutional "right to self-determined dying" and what conditions and guidelines for assisted suicide are necessary and possible.

However, many MEPs are new to Parliament and there was a desire to start the process all over again.

On Wednesday afternoon it was time.

The debate in the Bundestag was concentrated and sometimes emotional.

Some MEPs reported personal experiences with the topic.

As is usual with medical-ethical issues, faction discipline is abolished.

So far there have been three group applications for a new regulation.

Helen Bubrowski

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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Time is of the essence, at least that's how many MPs see it.

More than two years have now passed since the Federal Constitutional Court declared the then ban on commercial euthanasia to be unconstitutional.

Since then there has been no regulation.

Some of the deputies view this situation with concern because there is no protection concept and euthanasia associations have a free hand.

Others, on the other hand, are pushing for a change because they do not see the current options for ending one's own life as sufficient.

Nobody wants to challenge the ban on killing on demand

In his speech, CDU MP Ansgar Heveling focused on protecting life.

A suicide cannot be reversed.

It is important that the state protects the life of the individual.

Together with MPs Lars Castellucci (SPD), Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, Benjamin Strasser (FDP) and Kathrin Vogler (Left), Heveling has drawn up a draft law that allows assisted suicide if a specialist confirms in two examinations three months apart, that the decision is voluntary, serious and permanent.

Failure to do so is punishable by up to three years' imprisonment for assisting in the suicide of another person.

"We want to make assisted suicide possible, but not promote it," said Kappert-Gonther in the debate.

She pointed out that the wish to die is often volatile, and some of those affected have other problems from which they see no way out.

Kappert-Gonther called for suicide prevention to be strengthened.

For example, information about offers of help should be placed on bridges.

Kathrin Vogler, who also supports this proposal, was relieved that there was agreement on a few points: Nobody wanted to challenge the ban on killing on demand.

The Greens politician Renate Künast, who worked out a proposal with Katja Keul (also Greens), among others, argued that there was no constitutional need for a new law.

Nevertheless, she spoke out in favor of it.

"We need protective mechanisms and advice," said Künast.

Your proposal provides for advisory duties outside of criminal law.

The wish of the seriously ill must therefore be checked beforehand by doctors, in other cases independent advice centers should be responsible.

A third group around Katrin Helling-Plahr (FDP) and Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is also calling for a law on euthanasia that goes beyond criminal law.

Helling-Plahr said in the debate that it was "out of the question" to even consider a new regulation in criminal law.

One should treat those willing to die "with respect," she said, not with criminal law, and should not rise above them morally.

Trusted doctors should prescribe the deadly drugs, not authorities.