Assisted Suicide Provokes Outcry in Germany

A Swiss euthanasia group called Dignitas claims it offers a dignified death to terminally ill people by administering lethal injections to end their suffering.

In the past decade, about 500 Europeans, many Germans among them, are said to have traveled across the Swiss border to find help to end their lives.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told German TV station ARD she was absolutely against any form of assisted suicide, and her government is almost unanimously on her side, calling for strict legislation.

Lawmakers today postponed their decision on a new law until October 2008, but they ruled that law and justice enforcement authorities should put a break on commercial ventures that make money by helping people kill themselves.

They suggested that any commercially assisted suicide should be considered a punishable crime that will be prosecuted, and offenders can be sentenced to three years in prison.

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