Germany’s Parliament has voted down two legislative proposals to make assisted suicide more readily available.
Both Bills sought to make it easier for vulnerable people to access lethal drugs to end their lives.
Regulations which banned offering assisted suicide as a professional service were introduced in 2015, meaning doctors could not be involved. However, this ban was overturned by Germany’s highest court in 2020, and the Bundestag has since been seeking to clarify the law.
Speaking after the votes, Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, welcomed the rejection of the “dangerous bills”, saying “once eugenics gets accepted in medicine, things can very quickly spiral downward with people being killed against their will by doctors”.
Dr Macdonald urged parliamentarians in Westminster and Holyrood to similarly “reject any proposal to weaken our current laws”.
He added: “Instead of revisiting a discussion about how to kill people, we should be discussing how to properly fund palliative and social care.”
MPs in Westminster are due to consider the findings of a Health and Social Care Committee inquiry on assisted suicide and euthanasia later this year. A debate is also expected in Holyrood on Liam McArthur MSP’s proposed Assisted Dying (Scotland) Bill in the autumn.
In France, the Senate Committee on Social Affairs has adopted a written report that warns against the introduction of euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Ahead of Government plans to introduce a Bill on the issue, the report by two Senators said such laws would be “dangerous” and detrimental to French society.