Starting in 2022, Austrians who are “chronically, seriously ill or have no prospect of recovery will be able to state their will to die” and be given suicide assistance. The article published by the Associated Press calls this allowance to die by assisted suicide “tightly limited”. These “tightly limited” allowances enable people with disabilities to be eligible for assisted suicide legislation when they would otherwise not be in danger of dying. Patients who fulfill one of those prescribed conditions “will have to speak with two doctors before, after a period of reflection, depositing their notification with a lawyer or notary.”
In addition to targeting people with disabilities, this legislation allows doctors to interpret a request for death from a person with disabilities, who is not otherwise dying, differently than they interpret suicidal remarks from an able-bodied person. The socially devalued group will get suicide assistance and the valued group will get suicide prevention. This type of legislation is dangerous and puts people with disabilities at risk of deadly harm.