Harald Meyer, who died of cirrhosis, came to court. Photo: Deutsche Welle.Two terminally ill men have pleaded for voluntary euthanasia in a German court. The German Federal Administrative Court dismissed the appeal for death by overdose on Tuesday.
According to a report by the German news agency Deutsche Welle, one of the two men is suffering from post-cancer complications. Another is a patient with cirrhosis. Both claimed to take sodium pentobarbital without doctor’s advice. They applied to Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BFRM) to be able to buy the drug without a doctor’s prescription.
But the BFRM did not respond to the plea of the two persons. Then they challenged this judgment in the German lower court. The German court also rejected the applications. The court’s statement is that if necessary, the doctor should be consulted with the court. No one can be given this opportunity voluntarily. In that case, the tendency of suicide will increase.
The drug sodium pentobarbital is primarily a sleeping pill. But if you take too much, the chances of death are very high. In fact, this drug carries the death penalty in the United States.
The court in Leipzig agreed with earlier rulings on Tuesday. The court said denying two people their right to receive medication would interfere with their right to voluntary death. It not only prevents voluntary death, but also the right to seek help. Although German law provides for voluntary euthanasia, the court did not allow the use of sodium pentobarbital because the two men did not seek medical permission.
The court said the dangers posed by the purchase of sodium pentobarbital and the stockpiling of the drug by those who wish to die are too great. German law does not allow the purchase of this drug for suicide purposes. That is, the court did not completely dismiss the issue of voluntary death.
Even if the German Leipzig court gives this verdict, the patients can appeal to the higher court. Their lawyer Robert Rossrucht said that they will apply to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. He said, ‘It is a black day for two sick people. Also, a dark day for those in Germany who hoped sodium pentobarbital would end their patients’ suffering.’