Austrian federal court strikes down criminal law provision banning all forms of assisted suicide
An Austrian federal court on Friday struck down a criminal law provision banning all forms of assisted suicide for those who kill themselves, ruling that such a blanket ban is unconstitutional, ABC News reported.
The country’s penal code states that anyone who “induces or assists another person to kill himself” is liable to imprisonment for between six months and five years.
The Constitutional Court considered a number of complaints, including from two seriously ill persons. It ruled that the words “or helps him to do so” were unconstitutional and would be removed from the code in late 2021.
The court said the provision “violates the right to self-determination because (it) prohibits any type of assistance under any circumstances”.
It upheld the rest of the provision and also upheld a provision imposing the same punishment on anyone who “kills another person upon his earnest and persistent request”.
Lawmakers will have to take measures to prevent abuses and ensure that “the aggrieved person does not decide to commit suicide under the influence of third parties,” the court said.