Thursday, January 20, 2005

Germany about to make advance directives binding by law!

Rene Talbot writes:

Where Germany was once at the forefront regarding crimes against humanity, it now seems to lead with the social dismantling of medical coercion: Soon all medical advanced directives (proposed by Thomas Szasz in 1982 as a “Psychiatric Will”) will be legally binding, even if the person can no longer express him/herself, is unable to consent, has no illness insight or is considered incompetent, as long as active killing is not requested. Custodians or persons authorized by a representation agreement will by law have to execute the individual's previously formulated will. Each coerced diagnosis against such a directive would become a violation of the fundamental rights of informal self-determination, psychiatric incarceration becomes a sanctioned deprivation of liberty, any coercive treatment would be a bodily injury, indeed torture. In my opinion, the further development of such legislation throughout the European Union can hardly be stopped. The new law was proposed in November 2004 by the minister of justice of the Federal Government, Brigitte Zypries. It initiated an immediate controversy. The new law is being discussed, especially on the issue of a dignified form of dying but nevertheless logically and explicitly it will be valid also for non terminal illnesses. Here is the key argument: Suicide assistance is punishable by law in Germany, so the opponents of the new law tried to insinuate that the new legislation would be a kind of physician assisted suicide… (The full article can be read here:


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