From next year Austria will allow euthanasia for the terminally ill

The Austrian government presented its ordinance on euthanasia on Saturday, which should enable people with terminally ill people to apply for it under the exclusion of minors from 2022 onwards.

If a person who meets the requirements decides in favor of euthanasia, their case must be examined by two doctors, and a period of twelve weeks is observed before a final decision is made, the ORF raises – this period can be shortened, however to two weeks if the patient only has a few weeks to live.

From next year Austria will allow euthanasia for the terminally ill
From next year Austria will allow euthanasia for the terminally ill

If approved, the patient can buy a lethal drug from a pharmacy. It has to be the patient who self-administer the drug, as active euthanasia continues to be punished in the country.

The ordinance on euthanasia presented jointly by the Ministries of Justice, Health and Constitution was a necessity, as the Austrian Federal Constitutional Court decided to decriminalize it by the end of this year.

Various religious and conservative organizations had campaigned for the authorities to create legal guarantees and prevent abuse, since without regulation any form of assisted suicide would have been permitted from next year.

The government has also stressed that no health care professional or pharmacy will be required to provide euthanasia. The new law, which has yet to be passed by parliament, is expected to come into force on January 1, 2022.

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