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Europe: Assisted Suicide “Must Always be Prohibited”

General view of the Parliamentary Assembly's plenary room at the Council of Europe

We are pleased to report a major victory for life in Europe. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (“PACE” – pictured above) has banned euthanasia (assisted suicide) in Europe.

The newly adopted Resolution provides, “Euthanasia, in the sense of the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit, must always be prohibited.” This important prolife resolution comes just one year after the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) ruled that there is no right to assisted suicide under the European Convention on Human Rights.

This resolution will prevent abuses of living wills and advanced directives from becoming a “backdoor” to allowing euthanasia.

“It is a new major victory for life and dignity,” said Grégor Puppinck, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice (“ECLJ”), the ACLJ’s European affiliate. Puppinck also noted that this resolution should immediately “have a direct impact on the upcoming judgment of the European Court in the case Koch v. Germany concerning the ban of assisted suicide in Germany.”

In that case, the ECHR will be asked to determine whether Germany’s ban on assisted suicide complies with the European Convention. You can read the ECLJ’s detailed analysis of this case here.

You can read the ECLJ’s analysis of the PACE resolution here.

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