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Supreme Court of Denmark

Aiding in suicide 
25-09-2019 

Case no. 42/2019

Judgment delivered on 23 September 2019


The Prosecution Service
v.
T


T found guilty of two counts of violation of Section 240 of the Danish Penal Code on aiding in suicide and one count of attempted aiding in suicide. Sentenced to 60 days’ conditional imprisonment

The High Court had found T guilty of two counts of violation of Section 240 of the Penal Code on aiding in suicide and one count of attempted aiding in suicide. The case mainly concerned whether the acts committed by T under the three counts, according to the High Court’s findings of fact, were punishable as aiding in suicide pursuant to Section 240, and whether the conditions for punishing T for attempted aiding in suicide were met.

In count 2, the High Court had found T guilty of violation of Section 240 of the Penal Code for having used one of his contacts to obtain medicine for B prior to B’s death, with the full knowledge that it was to be used for B’s suicide. In count 1, T had been found guilty of attempted violation of Section 240 for using one of the other persons accused to obtain prescription medicine for A, with the full knowledge that it was to be used for A’s suicide, which however failed. The Supreme Court agreed that T’s actions were punishable as aiding in suicide pursuant to Section 240 and as attempted aiding in suicide.

In count 3, the High Court had found T guilty of violation of Section 240 of the Penal Code for having given C instructions on how to commit suicide in emails, by which T aided in C committing suicide by taking medicine and placing a plastic bag sealed with a rubber band over the head. The majority of the Supreme Court agreed that T’s instructions to C amounted to specific and significant aiding in C’s suicide, and that they were not by their nature exempt from punishment because they were based on general guidance that was lawfully published on a website.

The majority of the Supreme Court also upheld the sentence of 60 days’ conditional imprisonment.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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