.- The former Minister of Justice of Hamburg (Germany), Roger Kusch, recently unveiled a “suicide machine” to allow the terminally ill to end their lives if they wish.
According to the German television network Deutsche Welle, on March 28 Kusch presented his new “invention” to journalists and explained that the “machine is ready for use.” He explained that now the terminally ill in Germany do not have to travel to Switzerland where assisted suicide is legal.
“It’s the best method for those who desire death,” he later told CNN. The machine consists of an IV that sends anesthetic into the body through one tube and a lethal dose of potassium chloride through another. The only thing a doctor has to do is insert the needles into the patient, a procedure which by itself does not violate any German law. The patient would then press a button to begin administration of the drugs.
Kusch said the death process would last around four minutes.
Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke of Hamburg told the KNA news agency that the machine is an “instrument of torture” and a “macabre game with death, disguised with noble words of compassion and questionable legal tricks.”
Frank Ulrich, vice president of the German Medical Association, warned in statements to the DPA news agency that “we do not need a killing machine but rather care for the terminally ill and palliative medicine that alleviates patients’ pain and fear of the end of their lives.”
“This is an attack on the spirit of our ethics, the spirit of our ethical tradition, the spirit of the Christian image about the human being and against the spirit of our laws,” said Wolfgang Huber, the director of the German Lutheran Church.