You are here

»Those who do not understand the constitution have no place in the Bundestag!«

Members of parliament reprimanded for »gross foul play against the democratic rule of law«


Campaign poster with ninety-year-old Dolly Hüther (Photo: Udo Ungar, Layout: Peder Iblher)

In 2015, 140 incumbent members of the Bundestag voted in favour of the unconstitutional Section 217 of the German Penal Code, which prohibited professional assisted suicide in Germany from 2015 to 2020. In light of the impending new regulation of assisted suicide, the MPs in question have now received a "yellow card" to remind them of the foul they committed against the democratic rule of law back then and to prevent them from making the same mistake yet again.

The campaign was triggered by the current debate on the revision of the law on assisted suicide in the German Bundestag. The draft laws under discussion are not designed to guarantee the self-determination of the individual at the end of life, according to the initiative "Mein Ende gehört mir – Für das Recht auf Letzte Hilfe" ("My end, my choice – for the right to Last Aid"), which organized the campaign. The most severe judgement by the initiative is directed at the draft law by Lars Castellucci and others, which aims to reintroduce Section 217 of the German Penal Code (StGB) – with almost the same wording that the Federal Constitutional Court declared null and void in February 2020 by a vote of 8 to 0.

In the letter to the 140 yellow-carded members of the Bundestag, it says: "In 2015, you voted in favour of the unconstitutional Section 217 of the German Penal Code (StGB), and you may now once again be considering severely restricting the right to self-determination at the end of life. Therefore, with the attached yellow card, we remind you that in 2015 you committed a gross foul on the democratic rule of law, for which you were forcefully admonished by the Federal Constitutional Court on 26 February 2020. Such a mishap can happen once. But if you make the same mistake twice, you display a level of ignorance towards fundamental rights and the judiciary that is difficult to reconcile with the ground rules of a democracy!"

The risk of a red card

The authors of the letter do not accuse the MPs of having "bad intentions": "You certainly only want what is 'best' for the citizens. But this is precisely the key feature of our constitution: it is not for you to decide what is 'best' for the people, this decision is made by each individual for themselves! The dignity of the individual is determined by the individual determining their dignity – not the state or the church. So please do not make any decision without the citizens! Talk to people who are affected by serious illnesses! Talk to people and organizations that have been helping people with serious illnesses for years! And please realize that self-determination over one's own end of life is not only required by our constitution, but is also demanded by the overwhelming majority of people in this country!"

The letter ends with an urgent plea: "Do not tarnish your political career by voting twice for an unconstitutional law! Otherwise you could quickly be penalized by the voters with a red card – as our model, ninety-year-old Dolly Hüther, exemplifies on our campaign poster. So keep Dolly's admonition in mind: if you don't understand the constitution, you have no place in the Bundestag!"

Campaign publishes names of all yellow-carded MPs

Along with the letter, the campaign website features the names of all 140 members of the Bundestag who voted in favour of the unconstitutional Section 217 of the German Penal Code (StGB) in 2015 and are consequently yellow-carded. Citizens thus have the opportunity to contact them directly.

The current campaign is supported by the Giordano Bruno Foundation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Humanes Sterben (German Association for Humane Dying), DIGNITAS Germany and the Verein Sterbehilfe (Assisted Dying Association). In February last year, the four organizations already presented the "Berliner Appell für humane Suizidhilfe" (Berlin Appeal for Humane Assisted Suicide) at the House of the Federal Press Conference, which generated a great deal of media attention in 2022.

Press photo op: On Tuesday, 28.02.2023 at 11 am in Paul-Löbe-Allee there will be the opportunity to meet our photo model, Dolly Hüther, and to photograph the campaign trucks with our design in front of the Reichstag.

List of yellow-carded MPs:

Stephan Albani, Artur Auernhammer, Dorothee Bär, Dr. Andre Berghegger, Peter Beyer, Steffen Bilger, Michael Brand, Dr. Reinhard Brandl, Heike Brehmer, Ralph Brinkhaus, Alexander Dobrindt, Michael Donth, Hansjörg Durz, Hermann Färber, Enak Ferlemann, Thorsten Frei, Michael Frieser, Ingo Gädechens, Dr. Thomas Gebhart, Hermann Gröhe, Michael Grosse-Brömer, Markus Grübel, Manfred Grund, Oliver Grundmann, Monika Grütters, Fritz Güntzler, Christian Haase, Florian Hahn, Matthias Hauer, Dr. Stefan Heck, Mechthild Heil, Michael Hennrich, Ansgar Heveling, Christian Hirte, Alexander Hoffmann, Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, Hubert Hüppe, Erich Irlstorfer, Thomas Jarzombek, Andreas Jung, Anja Karliczek, Roderich Kiesewetter, Dr. Georg Kippels, Volkmar Klein, Jens Koeppen, Markus Koob, Carsten Körber, Gunther Krichbaum, Dr. Günter Krings, Ulrich Lange, Dr. Silke Launert, Paul Lehrieder, Dr. Katja Leikert, Dr. Andreas Lenz, Dr. Carsten Linnemann, Patricia Lips, Daniela Ludwig, Yvonne Magwas, Andreas Mattfeldt, Stephan Mayer (Altötting), Dr. Michael Meister, Jan Metzler, Dr. Mathias Middelberg, Dietrich Monstadt, Stefan Müller (Erlangen), Wilfried Oellers, Florian Oßner, Henning Otte, Thomas Rachel, Kerstin Radomski, Alexander Radwan, Alois Rainer, Dr. Peter Ramsauer, Erwin Rüddel, Albert Rupprecht, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, Andreas Scheuer, Patrick Schnieder, Nadine Schön (St. Wendel), Detlef Seif, Jens Spahn, Dr. Wolfgang Stefinger, Albert Stegemann, Johannes Steiniger, Christian Frhr. von Stetten, Dieter Stier, Stephan Stracke, Max Straubinger, Antje Tillmann, Dr. Hans-Peter Uhl, Dr. Volker Ullrich, Dr. Johann Wadephul, Marco Wanderwitz, Nina Warken, Sabine Weiss (Wesel I), Annette Widmann-Mauz, Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Emmi Zeulner

Heike Baehrens, Ulrike Bahr, Bärbel Bas, Dr. Lars Castellucci, Michael Gerdes, Martin Gerster, Kerstin Griese, Uli Grötsch, Sebastian Hartmann, Hubertus Heil (Peine), Wolfgang Hellmich, Josip Juratovic, Oliver Kaczmarek, Lars Klingbeil, Bettina Müller, Michelle Müntefering, Dr. Rolf Mützenich, Dietmar Nietan, Aydan Özoguz, Achim Post (Minden), Andreas Rimkus, Dennis Rohde, Dr. Martin Rosemann, Bernd Rützel, Marianne Schieder, Udo Schiefner, Dagmar Schmidt (Wetzlar), Stefan Schwartze, Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Britta Haßelmann, Maria Klein-Schmeink, Markus Kurth, Dr. Tobias Lindner, Beate Müller-Gemmeke, Dr. Konstantin von Notz, Omid Nouripour, Cem Özdemir, Claudia Roth (Augsburg), Corinna Rüffer, Kordula Schulz-Asche

Sevim Dagdelen, Andrej Hunko, Martina Renner, Kathrin Vogler

Members of the AfD are missing from this list, as the party was not yet represented in the German Bundestag in 2015.