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Counter measure taken by German Ministry of Health against progressive judgement

Deutsche Welle (June 30, 2018) reports: The German Ministry of Health on Friday called for the medical regulatory body to stop allowing seriously ill people access to euthanasia drugs. The request to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) goes against a landmark judgement in 2017 that ruled seriously ill patients in extreme and exceptional circumstances should not be denied access to euthanasia drugs.

In view of “fundamental and far-reaching questions, particularly constitutional questions, It cannot be the task of the state to actively support suicidal acts through the official, administrative approval of the acquisition of the specific suicide agent,” deputy health minister Lutz Stroppe wrote in a letter seen by German news outlets Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

“This is not compatible with the purpose of the Narcotics Act to ensure the necessary medical care of the population. A suicide cannot be considered therapy,” the letter continued.

Some 108 patients have submitted applications for euthanasia drugs since the March 2017 ruling and at least 20 have already died, Spiegel reported citing BfArM figures.