German euthanasia lawyer freed

2010-06-25 20:47
Berlin - Germany's Federal Court of Justice on Friday in a landmark case overturned the conviction of a lawyer who advised the family of a comatose elderly woman to cut off her feeding tube.

The case involved 71-year-old Erika Kuellmer who, after a cerebral haemorrhage in October 2002, slipped into a vegetative state and, confined to a nursing home, was fed through a tube for five years.

Although Kuellmer had expressed the wish not to be kept alive under such circumstances in a so-called living will, the home refused to let her die.

On the advice of her lawyer, Kuellmer's daughter finally snipped the feeding tube with a pair of scissors and she died two days later of "natural causes", according to an autopsy.

A lower court acquitted the daughter of killing her mother because she had "mistakenly" followed her lawyer's advice. But the attorney, Wolfgang Putz, was convicted and given a nine-month suspended sentence.

The federal tribunal found that Putz, a prominent patients' rights advocate, had acted legally and in the patient's interest because she had clearly expressed her wish not to be kept alive artificially.

Chief justice Ruth Rissing-van Saan had said when agreeing to hear the case that the court aimed to define the line between "killing" and "natural death".

Read more on:    germany

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation, idealism, romanticism and other far reaching dreams can lead you into a spiral of enthusiasm and excitement. Somewhere...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.