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German doctors criticise proposals for new law on assisted suicide

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5477 (Published 15 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5477
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. 1Heidelberg

German doctors, hospice organisations, and church representatives have criticised a draft law on helping terminally ill people to end their lives for its lack of clarity over who would be prosecuted.

The proposals, released by the Ministry of Justice in July, are the first attempt to establish a legal framework in Germany under which relatives or friends can help someone who is terminally ill to die. The draft bill says that doctors and nurses who have a personal relationship with the patient will also be able to help them die without legal recriminations.

The new law aims to stop organisations such as Dignitas Deutschland and Sterbehilfe (Euthanasia) Deutschland from operating …

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