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New legal regulation on euthanasia is getting closer

New legal regulation on euthanasia is getting closer

The responsible ministries are still working on the details. However, the new legal regulation on euthanasia in Austria is getting closer. An agreement should be reached in the coming days. Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) announced this week in the Justice Committee that there should be a new regulation at the end of the year.

editorial staff
22 October 2021 10:57

The political negotiations on this ethically charged matter run mainly between the actually responsible Ministry of Justice and the Constitutional Ministry under the leadership of Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP). However, since the question arises as to whether doctors should accompany the assisted suicide, the Ministry of Health is likely to be involved. In terms of budget, it will also be interesting whether there will be a binding expansion of hospice and palliative care.

In any case, there is time pressure, because the Constitutional Court (VfGH) lifted the ban on assisted suicide in Austria at the end of 2021, but not that of active euthanasia. If nothing happens by the end of the year, assisted suicide is simply allowed from next year. Conservative organizations and religious communities are pushing for legal protection to prevent abuse.

The legal situation in AustriaWHAT

To discuss the different points of view, the Ministry of Justice held a dialogue forum with representatives from different walks of life, the final report of which was published at the end of June. Regardless of the content of the new law, voices were raised in conservative circles to raise the rule to constitutional status, which would mean that the Constitutional Court would not be able to repeal it. The Greens had shown themselves to be negative.

Euthanasia: The Legal Situation in EuropeWHAT

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