§216 StGB - Killing on request

Act 216 of the German Criminal Code reads as follows:

  1. If someone is killed on the serious and explicit request of the person killed, a prison sentence of six months up to five years is imposed. 
  2. The attempt is punishable by law. 

Act 216 Killing on request Online Version (German)

In comparison with the lifelong sentence for murder and the 5-year long sentence for manslaughter, this mild sentence, however, can be dropped in cases where the earnestness of the death wish has not been sufficiently examined. As stated by the Federal Court, killing on request is only given when the request of the victim is based on “deeper reflexion” and not on “a momentary mood”.

The decision of the Federal Court was made in the course of a court battle. A husband had killed his 53-year old wife and was only received a prison sentence of 2 years by the responsible Court in Verden as he could plausibly elucidate to have killed his wife on her request. According to the husband, she requested to be killed due to her unbearable abdominal pain caused by a malignant tumor. It remained puzzling that her tumor was benign and operable. This fact and the married couple’s precise plans for the future raised the doubts of the third criminal devision of the Federal Court with regard to the seriousness of the death wish. The court granted the daughter’s notice of appeal in which case the sentence of the court in Verden was set aside and the case has to be discussed again in front of the regional court in Stade.

Wird geladen