Assisted suicide now legal in Austria — Analysis

A new law allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill patients has come into force in Austria after being approved by the country’s parliament in December.

From Saturday, those over the age of 18 who are suffering from “incurable, fatal illness” or a serious permanent illness with debilitating effects that “It cannot be avoided.” have the right to apply for assisted suicide, which will be a strictly regulated process.

To be allowed to end their lives, patients must provide confirmation of their diagnosis and their ability to make decisions “One that is free of error, cunning or deception.” Minors or those with mental health conditions do not fall under the law.

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After obtaining the approval of two doctors, one of whom should have qualifications in palliative medicine, the patient should wait for 12 weeks – or two weeks in the case of terminal illness – to reflect on the decision. To document the entire process, they should notify a lawyer and a notary. You can now prescribe a lethal medication to the victim.

The Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists will compile and keep up-to-date a list of pharmacies that dispense such medication. However, it will not make the list public to avoid abuse.

Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein earlier said the key goal of the government was “To ensure the basic right to self-determination,” while taking all necessary precautions against potential

Some critics criticized the law. Besides moral aspects, over which the Catholic Church raised “These are very serious concerns” other critics said a contemplation’ period of 12 weeks was too short and that the psychiatric evaluation of the patients was not enough. Some expressed concern about the complexity of the process, while others disagreed. 

Austrian law still prohibits suicide active assistance. Prison sentences for offenders can reach up to five years.

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