The German Bundesärztekammer (BAK, the national Medical Association) has announced that they will relax the professional standard where it concerns their current attitude towards medically assisted suicide of a terminally ill person. This will be in the first half of this year 2011.
Jörg-Diettrich Hoppe, BAK’s president, warned “Welt Online” that the approval of the new professional guideline for doctor assisted suicide is still not given formally.
“We are waiting for a last debate with and by the competent body’s of the BAK, after which the debate will be closed at the “Ärztetag” at the end of May 2011″. But, the tendency is clear, according to Hoppe. The opinion that medical assistance with suicide is “unethical” and therefore not compatible with professional behaviour (unärztlich) will be replaced by the notion that such assistance does not belong in the medical repertoire.
(comment RJ: this shift is more important then it looks. It implies that now every German doctor can [may] decide whether he considers his assistance as being OK. Do not forget that assisted suicide is legal in Germany!)
For readers familiar with the German language, here a link to the article on Welt Online.