The right to assisted dying: Constitutional jurisprudence and its impact in Canada, Germany and Austria

Braun, Kerstin (2021) The right to assisted dying: Constitutional jurisprudence and its impact in Canada, Germany and Austria. Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, 15 (3). pp. 291-318. ISSN 2306-3734


Abstract

Many states are grappling with the regulation of assistance in suicide and ending the life of another upon their request. Initially punishable in most countries, a growing number of jurisdictions have now introduced permissive frameworks decriminalising, to varying degrees, rendering assistance in dying. Other countries, however, have proceeded with the criminal prohibition and several courts have upheld the lawfulness of the respective criminal laws during human rights and constitutional challenges. Yet, the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015, the German Federal Constitutional Court in February 2020 and the Austrian Constitutional Court in December 2020 have respectively declared unconstitutional and void national criminal laws prohibiting rendering assistance in dying. This article first outlines the criminal law framework relating to assisted dying in Canada, Germany and Austria. It subsequently analyses the judgments before pondering their impact on the legal landscape in the three countries. The article concludes that while the Canadian Supreme Court decision appears to have had a significant impact on the introduction of subsequent legislation in Canada, the effects of the Constitutional Courts’ judgments seem much more subdued in Germany and are yet to unfold in Austria.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2021 04:33
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 04:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: assisted dying; Austria; Canada; Germany; consitution
Fields of Research (2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180114 Human Rights Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180106 Comparative Law
Fields of Research (2020): 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4804 Law in context > 480412 Medical and health law
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4807 Public law > 480702 Constitutional law
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4803 International and comparative law > 480307 International humanitarian and human rights law
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4803 International and comparative law > 480302 Comparative law
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940405 Law Reform
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230405 Law reform
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43909

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