Table 1 Assisted suicide and euthanasia in six European countries– current legal situation (bold), and developments since 2000
Allowance of assisted suicide (AS) and/or euthanasia (E)Statutory regulation
Belgiumnoyes (E)Separate Act Concerning Euthanasia (Criminal Code remains unchanged)*
Germany(yes AS)(No specific regulation in German Penal Code)†
no (E)(Art. 216 German Penal Code)
The Netherlands(no)‡ → yesAmendment of the Dutch Criminal Code Art. 293 (killing on request) and Art. 294 (assisted suicide)
NorwaynoArt. 235 and Art. 236 Norwegian Penal Code
Switzerlandyes (AS)(Art. 115 Swiss Penal Code)§
no (E)(Art. 114 Swiss Penal Code)
United KingdomnoSection 2 Suicide Act for England and Wales 1961
  • Unless specified, all statements refer to both assisted suicide and euthanasia. Italics: developments since 2000

  • * The legal status of assisted suicide in Belgium is unclear.

  • † Physician-assisted suicide may legally conflict with a doctor’s obligation to save life

  • ‡ Although illegal until 2002, both assisted suicide and euthanasia were tolerated in The Netherlands from the early 1970s.

  • § Assisting in suicide is not illegal as long as there are no motives of self-interest.