A law introduced in Germany in 2015 that bans commercial services offering assisted suicide is unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday.
The court found that there was a right to “self-determined” suicide, the president of the court, Andreas Vosskuhle, said.
This included the freedom to take one’s own life and to use the services provided by third parties, the court found.
The ruling thus throws out a new clause in Germany’s criminal code – Paragraph 217 – that criminalises “commercial support for suicide” and provides for a jail sentence of up to three years.
The ruling came in response to a case brought by terminally ill patients and their doctors.