German euthanasia group says it will only carry out assisted suicides on people vaccinated against Covid-19
German euthanasia group has said prospective clients must comply with 2G rule
Requires people to be fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid-19
Clinic said rule applies to clients because euthanasia involves 'human closeness'
A German euthanasia group has said clients must be vaccinated against Covid-19 before they can undergo assisted suicide.
German Euthanasia Association Verein Sterbehilfe has announced prospective clients will have to comply with the country's 2G rule - where premises can choose to deny entry to those who are not vaccinated ('geimpft' in German) or who have recovered ('genesen') from the virus.
The clinic said euthanasia and preparatory examinations require 'human closeness' meaning that under German law everyone involved must comply with the 2G rule.
'Euthanasia and the preparatory examination of the voluntary responsibility of our members willing to die require human closeness,' the Association said in a statement on November 19.
'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.'
It explained the decision was based on the 'difficult task of balancing the protection of our members, employees and doctors with the practical organization of our everyday life in the association.'
Around 68 per cent of Germany's 83 million population are full jabbed and about 10 per cent have had a booster dose but officials have branded a recent surge in cases a 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'.
Around 68 per cent of Germany's 83 million population are full jabbed and about 10 per cent have had a booster dose but officials have branded a recent surge in cases a 'pandemic of the unvaccinated' (stock image)
Verein Sterbehilfe said euthanasia and preparatory examinations require 'human closeness' meaning that under German law everyone involved must comply with the 2G rule
The 2G rule has sparked controversy in Germany, where premises are also given the option of following the 3G rule - which means those who can present a negative coronavirus test can also be served.
The rules apply to leisure, cultural and sporting events, and hospitality venues as well as to body-related services and hotels. It allows premises imposing the rules to drop mask-wearing and social distancing rules.
Several million German adults are still not yet vaccinated, and authorities have tried to incentivise them to take the jab through punishing measures such as this.
Germany reported another 45,753 new coronavirus cases and 388 deaths on Tuesday, but the seven-day incidence of cases per 100,000 people fell slightly for the first time in three weeks.
The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases reported that 452.2 people per 100,000 were infected in the last week, down from 452.4 on Monday and the first fall since early November.
The number of new cases was still 427 more than a week ago, but the pace of weekly increase has been flattening in the last few days.
As German hospitals have been swamped by the fourth wave of the pandemic in recent weeks, Germany has introduced restrictions on unvaccinated people and sought to ramp up the roll-out of booster shots.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, her designated successor Olaf Scholz and regional leaders are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss how to respond to the crisis, especially after cases of the new Omicron variant were detected in the country.
Many politicians have been calling for tighter restrictions as intensive care units, especially in eastern and southern Germany, reach their limits.
In February 2020, German lawmakers overturned an earlier ban on assisted suicide in a landmark ruling at the country's top court. The judgement decided a 2015 law banning professional assisted suicide was unconstitutional.
The milestone decision raised eyebrows by explicitly stating that people have 'the right to a self-determined death', and that the right to assisted suicide services should not be limited to the seriously or incurably ill.
The verdict was a major victory for terminally ill patients, doctors and assisted suicide organisations who brought the case, complaining that the existing law went too far.
Assisted dying is a sensitive subject in Germany as the Nazis used what they euphemistically called 'euthanasia' to exterminate around 200,000 disabled people (stock image)
It is a sensitive subject in Germany as the Nazis used what they euphemistically called 'euthanasia' to exterminate around 200,000 disabled people.
The existing law, known as Paragraph 17, was passed in 2015 and aimed at barring associations dedicated to helping patients wanting to die. It also meant medical personnel faced prosecution for prescribing life-terminating drugs.
In 2017, a lower court ruled that officials could not refuse lethal medication in extreme cases, creating confusion among doctors.
The plaintiffs' argued that Germany's constitution guarantees personal freedom and dignity, which they said includes the right to choose when and how to die.
The court agreed, and found the restrictions imposed by Paragraph 217 made it 'impossible' for people to receive help from third party professionals in Germany, who faced a fine or up to three years in prison under then old law.
This left German patients turning to family members or loved ones for help, some getting life-terminating medicine from abroad.
Judge Vosskuhle said at the time those who wanted to offer suicide assistance must be legally allowed to, without however being forced to do so.
MailOnline has approached Verein Sterbehilfe for comment.
Where is assisted dying legal in Europe?
Assisted dying refers to both voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted death, when a patient's life is ended at their request.
Only three countries in Europe approve of assisted dying as a whole: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
The first two even recognise requests from minors under strict circumstances, while Luxembourg excludes them from the legislation.
Germany, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, and Austria allow physician-assisted death under specific circumstances.
Countries such as Spain, Sweden, England, Italy, Hungary, and Norway allow passive euthanasia under strict circumstances.
Passive euthanasia is when a patient suffering from an incurable disease dies because doctors stops doing something necessary to keep them alive.