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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero December 1, 2023

Germany does not require vaccination before assisted suicide

If Your Time is short

  • Germany has no policy requiring vaccination before assisted suicide.

  • The post linked to a November 2021 story that referred to a German euthanasia assistance advocacy group’s directive that its members be vaccinated or have recovered from a COVID-19 infection. That rule was made to protect doctors, staff and other members from infection, the group’s website said.

  • The organization, Verein Sterbehlife, no longer lists that directive on its website.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Does Germany require its citizens to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when seeking assisted suicide? That’s what one Instagram post claimed, sharing what looked like a news story headline.

"In Germany, you must be fully vaxxed before your death by assisted suicide," the Nov. 28 Instagram post’s headline said.

Screenshot from Instagram

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

That’s misleading. There is no governmental policy requiring people who seek self-determined assisted suicide, to be vaccinated.

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In 2020, Germany’s top court found unconstitutional a 5-year-old law that made "commercial promotion of assisted suicide" a criminal offense. That meant that businesses that helped people seeking to end their lives with professional assistance could resume offering their services. Since then, legislators have struggled to agree on how to regulate this manner of assisted suicide.

The post linked to a November 2021 article by the National Review, a conservative outlet, as its source; that article cited an article by The Spectator, which also leans conservative. Both articles highlighted a statement by the organization Verein Sterbehilfe, which translates to "Euthanasia Association" in English. 

According to its website, Verein Sterbehilfe started in 2009 and provides "safe, humane suicide assistance at the end of life," according to a Google translation.

Verein Sterbehlife said in November 2021 that because euthanasia and the preparatory examination require "human closeness" that would be a "breeding ground for coronavirus transmission," it was adopting what was then known as the "2G rule." That was a reference to pandemic-era restrictions Germany adopted that same month. 

Germany’s "2G restrictions" allowed vaccinated or COVID-19-recovered people to move freely, but restricted the unvaccinated from most public activities. Germany eased its COVID-19 restrictions on March 20, 2022, ending the 2G rule in nonessential shops or businesses excluding supermarkets, pharmacies and drugstores.

Verein Sterbehilfe’s website no longer mentions that vaccination rule. By March 2022, the statement had been struck, archived versions of its website show. Verein Sterbehlife did not answer our email asking about the policy’s status.

None of this is proof that Germany requires people seeking assisted suicide be vaccinated. We rate that claim False.

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Germany does not require vaccination before assisted suicide

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