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Germany: Protestant clinic provider to tolerate assisted dying

Protestant Bethel Foundation, a major provider of clinics, hospices and homes, while choosing not to make self-determined death a fundamental right, does want to grant its clients access to third parties to provide appropriate assistance. Head of the Bethel Ethics Commission Annette Kurschus (former President of the Evangelical Church of Wesphalia), said that although assisted dying is not compatible with the Christian understanding of life as a gift from God, an individual’s fundamental right to self-determined death must be respected and should thus not be made impossible.

The Foundation has ruled out the option of offering assisted suicide by its own employees, but will allow access to third parties. Indeed the Foundation maintains that remaining by a patient’s side in pastoral care does not mean that it supports assisted dying.

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