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German Euthanasia Clinics Require COVID Vaccination for Patients Seeking Assisted Suicide

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The German Euthanasia Association announced that unvaccinated patients will not be able to end their lives with the help of a German euthanasia clinic over fears that one of their doctors could become infected with COVID-19.

Verein Sterbehilfe, the association for euthanasia, updated its Code of Ethics on Nov. 19 to inform those seeking assisted suicide that they must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or they will be turned away. 

"Euthanasia and the preparatory examination of the voluntary responsibility of our members willing to die require human closeness," the association said in a statement through Google Translate. "Human closeness, however, is a prerequisite and breeding ground for coronavirus transmission. As of today, the 2G rule applies in our association, supplemented by situation-related measures, such as quick tests before encounters in closed rooms."

"In the difficult task of balancing the protection of our members, employees and doctors with the practical organization of our everyday life in the association, Dr. Martin Goßmann, the head of our medical team, is on hand to advise," the statement continued.

Germany's ban on physician-assisted suicide was reversed over a year ago after the country's top court overturned a section of the criminal code that restricted the procedure. Additionally, three German politicians introduced a bill in January that would regulate euthanasia.

"We want to set the record straight — everyone has a right to self-determined death," Free Democratic Member of Parliament Katrin Helling-Plahr said at the time.

More than 68 percent of Germany’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the 7-day death rate as of Nov. 24 was 247 citizens. Officials said last week that another full lockdown of the country is being looked at due to rising case numbers.

"Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic," Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor-designate, said on Nov. 24.

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