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Third of GERMAN doctors prepared to help terminally ill to die

The German Bundes Ärzte Kammer (BAK) asked the Allensbach Intsitut für Demoskopie to organize a new survey on the opinion of German doctors about Ärztlich begleiteter Suizid und aktive Sterbehilfe (physician assisted suicide and euthanasia). This as a response to the “shocking” results of a similar survey in 2008. The outcome was the same: the issue of termination of life is more than once discussed in doctor-patient relations.

The Allensbach Institute telephonically interviewed 527 German doctors (both hospital specialists and family doctors), a representative random sample of the medical population.

The Local – German News in English, a weekly electronic newsletter – interviewed BAK’s President Jörg-Dietrich Hoppe on these results; he said: “If a doctor is fine with it ethically, to help someone commit suicide, then they can do that under current conditions. There are ways in which doctors can help their patients without fear of being punished – for example via issuing a prescription.” The whole article can be read by clicking here.

The survey report can (if you are familiar with German language) be downloaded here.

All in all one may conclude that also in Germany the issue of termination of life (on request) is not infrequent in doctor-patient relations. And, at least 30% of German doctors are actually committed to assist.