Should assisted suicide be legal? Opinion is split, and the German parliament is debating this for the first time. Saying "yes" to assisted suicide would send a disastrous signal, says DW's Fabian Schmidt.
No one can stop a person who has decided to commit suicide and who is able to do so. But doctors should never be a part of it - doctors are there to protect and save lives.
Supporters of doctor-assisted suicide say terminally ill patients, such as cancer patients, would be spared profound suffering if they were able to "freely" end their own lives.
They say they are fighting for the rights of patients who want a "dignified" death.
They portray patients as having to face an impersonal and cold industrial system of medicine, along with long periods spent in a vegetative state, leading to a far-too-late and excruciating death.
Terminally ill patients can find themselves under a lot of pressure - even those who have a clear state of mind - although this is not always openly addressed.
Some patients may ask themselves, Can I really subject my loved ones to my needing months or even years of care? Should I burden them with my pain and suffering?
And how will I feel about being cared for by strangers, or being robbed of my privacy?
Faced with such questions, an assisted suicide may appear to be a quick and easy solution, and a means to dying in a "dignified" way.
But such a suicide is never "dignified" - neither for the patient, nor for the society that allows it.