Dtsch med Wochenschr 2018; 143(10): 748-751
DOI: 10.1055/a-0518-4978
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Selbsttötung auf Rezept: eine Begriffsanalyse des Urteils

Suicide on Prescription: the Judgment and the Ethics
Claudia Bozzaro
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Publication History

Publication Date:
04 May 2018 (online)


On March 2, 2017, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled: In extreme emergencies, terminally ill people have the right to acquire suicide medications.
The purpose of this article is to examine the criteria used to define an “extreme emergency”. The first step is to analyze the verdict. This will show that the term “unbearable suffering” plays a crucial role in defining the “extreme emergency”. In a next step, two philosophical conceptions of the suffering are presented and analyzed with regard to their respective effects for their application in practice. Against this background, it is stated that the application of the criterion of suffering in the judgment is problematic. This leads to the conclusion that the judgment does not constitute a valid basis for practical implementation.

Laut Urteil des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts haben unheilbar kranke Menschen das Recht, in einer extremen Notlage ein Betäubungsmittel zum Zweck der Selbsttötung zu erwerben. Wann aber liegt eine extreme Notlage vor? Eine Begriffsanalyse zeigt, ob das Urteil valide Grundlage für eine praxistaugliche Umsetzung sein kann.