Austrian government proposes law to legalize assisted suicide

Austrian government proposes law to legalize assisted suicide

Austria's federal government has submitted a draft law to make assisted suicide for seriously ill adults legal, the federal chancellery said in a statement on Saturday.

Austria's federal government has submitted a draft law to make assisted suicide for seriously ill adults legal, the federal chancellery said in a statement on Saturday.

The new law lays out the conditions under which assisted suicide will be possible in the future, following a ruling by Austria's Constitutional Court last December according to which banning assisted suicide was unconstitutional because it violated a person's right to self-determination.

"Seriously ill people should have access to assisted suicide," the federal chancellery said in the statement.

The new law allows chronically or terminally ill adults to make provisions for an assisted suicide.

They have to consult two doctors who have to attest the person is capable of making his or her own decisions. A delay of 12 weeks also has to be respected that can be reduced to two weeks for patients in the final phase of an illness.

Earlier this year, Spain became the fourth European Union country to allow euthanasia after its lawmakers voted to approve the move.

A bill to legalize assisted dying was also debated in the UK on Friday, though it faces a lengthy passage to become law.