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Germany’s medical community has liberalized its code on helping sick patients die, giving more freedom to individual doctors. The change reflects a growing acceptance of assisted suicide among German doctors.

The German Medical Association has presented new guidelines for physician-assisted suicide, allowing greater leeway for doctors to rely on their own conscience when deciding whether to help ill patients die.

The new text, presented on Thursday, reads: “The doctor’s assistance with suicide is not a medical duty.” Previous guidelines stated that assisted suicide was in strict violation of medical ethics.

Rather than justifying or endorsing assisted suicide, the association said it was simply allowing doctors to decide for themselves whether helping a patient die is justifiable.

Full report at www.dw-world.de

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