Austrian government proposes law to legalise assisted suicide

Police car parks in front of the Austrian federal chancellery, in Vienna
A police car parks in front of the Austrian federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

ZURICH, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Austria's federal government has submitted a draft law to make assisted suicide for seriously ill adults legal, the federal chancellery said in a statement on Saturday.

The new law lays out the conditions under which assisted suicide will be possible in the future, following a ruling by Austria's Constitutional Court last December according to which banning assisted suicide was unconstitutional because it violated a person's right to self-determination.

"Seriously ill people should have access to assisted suicide," the federal chancellery said in the statement.

The new law allows chronically or terminally ill adults to make provisions for an assisted suicide.

They have to consult two doctors who have to attest the person is capable of making his or her own decisions. A delay of 12 weeks also has to be respected that can be reduced to two weeks for patients in the final phase of an illness.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Christina Fincher

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