Vienna, Austria, Jun 2, 2021 / 08:00 am
Austria’s Catholic bishops urged the authorities on Tuesday to offer people “assistance to live,” rather than assistance to suicide.
The bishops issued a statement June 1 in the wake of a ruling by the country’s top court that assisted suicide should no longer be a criminal offense.
“Dying is a part of life, but not killing. Assisted suicide must therefore never be understood as a medical service or otherwise a service of a healthcare profession,” the bishops wrote in the five-page message marking the Austrian Church’s Day for Life.
The constitutional court argued in its Dec. 11 judgment that the country’s criminal code is unconstitutional because its ban on assisted suicide violates the right to self-determination. It ordered the government to lift the ban in 2021.