“The right of every human being to life is protected by law”

(Article 2 ECHR)

The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights. However, it is not longer protected by the state wherever it is necessary, not even in Europe. All the more valuable and important are all voices that clearly emphasise this right to every person‘s life and resolutely fend off any attack on it. On November 3, 2019, the German-based league “Doctors in reverence for life” issued a press release referring to two extremely important declarations – that of the World Medical Association and that of the Abrahamic religions against euthanasia and assisted suicide, which we document below. The press release literally says that “the league ‘Doctors in reverence for life’ welcomes the current declaration of the World Medical Association and the interreligious declaration of representatives of the Abrahamic religions against assisted suicide and euthanasia.

At the end of October 2019, The World Medical Association has reaffirmed its long-standing policy of opposition to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide at the 70th General Assembly in Tbilisi, Georgia. Prior to this, there had been intensive consultations with doctors and non-doctors around the world. The WMA reaffirmed its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and demands the highest respect for human life. As well, no doctor should be forced to participate in euthanasia and assisted suicide or be obliged to make referral decisions concerning this matter. Klaus Reinhardt, President of the German Medical Association, emphasised the importance of the declaration: “Doctors are committed to life. It is important that the World Medical Association has expressed this once again.” (Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 1 November 2019). In addition to the medical profession, representatives of the three Abrahamic religions also positioned themselves and signed a joint declaration against euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Vatican on 28 October 2019. “Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong and should be forbidden with no exceptions. Any pressure upon dying patients to end their lives by active and deliberate actions is categorically rejected”.

Qualified and professional palliative care should be promoted and supported. The Vatican described the declaration as historical. “It is the first time that Muslims, Jews and Christians have signed such a document together. The league ‘Doctors in reverence for life’ very much hopes that these two important declarations will also receive adequate attention in politics, the courts and the media!”

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