This is strictly forbidden in Austria. The penal code (paragraph 77) speaks of “killing on request”: “Anyone who kills another at his serious and urgent request is punishable by imprisonment from six months to five years.” Anyone who also consumes another fatal medication is liable to prosecution – it does not matter that the person in question has consented to the killing. The Constitutional Court (VfGH) has not repealed this paragraph. Euthanasia is considered inactive when a machine that is used to keep a patient alive, such as a ventilator, becomes inactive.
Turning off the ventilator is passive euthanasia. The same applies if other life-prolonging measures are neglected. Passive euthanasia was already legal before the VfGH ruling on euthanasia and is mainly used in practice when the patient can no longer express his or her own will. He can, however, state in advance in an advance directive that no life-prolonging measures should be taken in this case. If there is no living will, relatives can make this decision.
This is before if, in the course of palliative treatment, it is accepted that death occurs earlier through the use of pain-relieving medication than without treatment. This is the case, for example, when a doctor gives a cancer patient morphine. This form was also legal before the VfGH judgment.
“Assisted suicide (assisting suicide)”:
The ban on this form of euthanasia was lifted by the Constitutional Court. “Anyone who induces another to kill himself or helps him to do so is punishable by imprisonment from six months to five,” says Section 78 of the Criminal Code. While the first part of the sentence (tempting to commit suicide) was not touched by the VfGH, the prohibition on providing assistance is no longer valid from 1.1. Away in 2022. Specifically, it concerns cases in which, for example, a doctor provides a patient with an agent whose income then kills itself. However, the drug must be taken by the patient himself. At present, however, people who accompany a person who is willing to die in a country in which they legally commit assisted suicide are still making themselves liable to prosecution. It is not at all necessary that the suicide would not have been possible without the help. For criminal liability it is sufficient that suicide is facilitated or promoted in some way – physically or psychologically.