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BERLIN — Germany's top criminal court issued a landmark ruling Friday legalizing assisted suicide in cases where it is carried out based on a patient's prior request.
The ruling came as the court overturned the conviction of a lawyer who had counseled his client in 2007 to stop tube feeding her mother, who had been in a non-responsive coma for five years. A lower court had convicted attorney Wolfgang Putz of attempted manslaughter and given him a nine-month suspended sentence.
The Federal Court of Justice said the 71-year-old woman had said in 2002 that she did not want to be kept al