BERLIN, April 4 (UPI) -- An administrative court in Berlin has given German doctors the power to use their own judgment in cases involving terminally ill patients who want to die.
The court lifted a physician's association ban on assisted suicide that included fines of up to $65,722 on doctors who provided their patients with enough drugs to kill themselves, The Local reported Wednesday.
Court spokesman Stephan Groscurth said the judges found the ban "too general."
Euthanasia is currently illegal in Germany. However, if a doctor is certain a dying patient wishes to end his or her life, a physician can provide that patient with the means to commit suicide.
Observers said the court's action means terminally ill patients will no longer have to travel to countries where assisted suicide is legal.
"This is a step towards stopping 'suicide-tourism' that is happening in Germany right now," said Dieter Graefe, a judge who is an expert on assisted suicide.
"We are very pleased with the decision," said Berlin urologist Uwe-Christian Arnold.