The new “Death Disposal Act” leaves many questions unanswered, many critics complain. But now it becomes clear that even a very elementary question has not yet been resolved: Who should bear the costs of assisting suicide? The fact that there is an unresolved problem that has so far hardly been considered has become clear during the pre-parliamentary review process for the draft law.
Austria has to regulate assisted suicide by law. The reason is a controversial decision by the Constitutional Court. Comments on the draft could be submitted by November 12th. The umbrella organization of the social insurances expressly stated: Social insurances can only bear the costs of a medical treatment, not the medical information about a suicide with the help of lethal drugs, as it is prescribed in the law. That is because that is not a curative treatment.
The umbrella organization was in his opinion very clearly: “From the point of view of social insurance, it should be noted once again that in the system and according to the self-image of social insurance, only the costs of medical treatment are borne. The medical information required in the course of drawing up the death directive and any accompanying measures that may be required do not constitute benefits from statutory social insurance. This means that contractual provisions on the assumption of costs by social insurance are excluded, as is subsequent reimbursement of costs to the person concerned or to relatives who bear the costs. “
Only the Institute for Medical Anthropology and Bioethics (Imabe) pointed out this problem a year ago. “According to the law, two doctors have to conduct an informative discussion with the suicide victim and document it accordingly. What fee can be charged for this? Who pays for it? ” Educational talks about assisted suicide and the deadly drugs could hardly be financed by the health insurances, because: “The planning and facilitation of suicides does not represent a health service”.
Spicy: There are also unanswered questions about the expansion of the Hospiz– and palliative care in Austria. Third-party funding from the federal, state and social security agencies is expected to achieve full expansion by 2026. “That concrete steps for an expansion of the Hospiz– and palliative care are provided and the federal government takes funds in hand for this, is positive ”, says the director of Diakonie Austria, Maria Katharina Moser. “The problem is that the nationwide supply will not be guaranteed until 2026. A failure of the last few years catches up with us here. ” As early as 2015, all parties had spoken out in favor of the Hospiz– and palliative care must be expanded across the board by 2020. The gaps have been known for a long time, says Moser.