The Role of Historical Arguments in Present Ethical Discussions in Germany

ABSTRACT SZ8-1

MICHAEL VON CRANACH
Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany

ABSTRACT DESCRIPTION

In the last two years the German parliament discussed vividly and with an unusual sense of responsibility three ethical topics highly relevant  to our medical practice: 1. a law concerning the right to assisted suicide in end of life situations and 2. a law regulating Preimplantation Genetic Diagnostics (PGD). In both discussions the German historical experience of Nazi medicine  and crimes played a central role and influenced decisively the final agreements found which were conservative compared with the legislation of our neighboring European countries. This historical experience is similarly influencing the current discussion in the Bundestag and in the Federal Ethical Committee on the use of coercion in psychiatry and its limitations.