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Germany: Constitutional Court Strikes Down Provision Criminalizing Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Apr. 29, 2020) On February 26, 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the provision in the German Criminal Code criminalizing commercial assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The Court stated that the general right of personality encompasses a right to a self-determined death, which includes the freedom to take one’s own life as […]

Australia: Western Australia Legalizes Voluntary Assisted Dying

(Dec. 20, 2019) On December 10, 2019, the Parliament of Western Australia passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 (WA), when the Legislative Assembly (lower house) voted in favor of amendments that had been passed in the Legislative Council (upper house) the previous week. Western Australia will therefore be the second Australian state to legalize […]

New Zealand: Referendums on Assisted Dying and Cannabis Legalization to be Held in 2020

(Dec. 17, 2019) On December 3, 2019, the New Zealand government launched a new website to provide information on two referendums that will be held in conjunction with the 2020 general election. This followed a vote in Parliament in November 2019 to pass the End of Life Choice Bill (now the End of Life Choice […]

Belgium: Report Reveals Euthanasia Commission Authorized Euthanasia of Three Minors in 2016–17

(Oct. 29, 2018) Belgium has the world’s only law allowing terminally ill minors in “unbearable suffering” to choose to die. (Henry Samuel, Belgium Authorized Euthanasia of a Terminally Ill Nine and 11-Year-Old in Youngest Cases Worldwide, TELEGRAPH (Aug. 7, 2018).) According to a report published on July 17, 2018, by the Commission fédérale de Contrôle […]

Australia: Victorian State Parliament Passes Bill to Legalize Voluntary Euthanasia

(Nov. 30, 2017) On November 29, 2017, the Parliament of Victoria passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (Vic), under which terminally ill people will be able to request assistance to end their lives through the use of a lethal medication.  Once it receives royal assent, the bill will come into force in June 2019, […]

Germany: Purchase of Lethal Dose of Narcotics for Painless Suicide Not Deniable in “Extremely Exceptional Situations”

(May 24, 2017) On March 2, 2017, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht (BVerwG)) held that the constitutionally guaranteed general right to protection of personality includes the right of seriously and terminally ill patients to decide how and when to end their lives, provided that the patients are able to form the decision of their own […]

Netherlands: New Regulation on Late-Term Abortions and Terminations of Lives of Neonates

(Jan. 15, 2016) The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Ministry of Security and Justice have prepared a new regulation clarifying the due care criteria and medical and legal considerations to be taken into account in performing late-term abortions and the euthanasia of neonates experiencing unbearable suffering and who have no prospect of improvement. The new norm also provides […]

Germany: Parliament Adopts Draft Act to Criminalize Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Dec. 1, 2015) On November 6, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) adopted a draft act that criminalizes commercial assisted suicide. (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Strafbarkeit der geschäftsmäßigen Förderung der Selbsttötung [Draft Act to Criminalize Commercial Assisted Suicide] (July 1, 2015), DEUTSCHER BUNDESTAG: DRUCKSACHEN UND PROTOKOLLE [BT-Drs.] 18/5373, Deutscher Bundestag website (scroll down to view text of the […]

Netherlands: Precedent Set in Case of Son-Assisted Suicide

(June 17, 2015) On May 13, 2015, a Dutch appeals court in Arnhem cleared Albert Heringa of all criminal responsibility in assisting his 99-year-old mother to commit suicide in 2008. Although doctor-assisted suicide has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002, the case purportedly sought to create a precedent because suicide assisted by a friend […]

European Court of Human Rights; France: Ruling on French Case of Discontinuation of Treatment

(June 17, 2015) On June 5, 2015, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in the case of Lambert and Others v. France, held by a majority opinion that the application of the French Conseil d’État decision of June 24, 2014, allowing the discontinuation of life-sustaining treatment to Vincent Lambert, would […]