Notable for founding the German Society for Voluntary Euthanasia and for heading the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, this philosopher, activist, and author is also credited with instituting in his native Germany the practice of creating living wills.
His parents passed away when he was young, and he was raised by his maternal grandparents.
He and Doctor Jack Kevorkian are both notable for their involvement in the right to die movement.
He attended Munich University during the late 1960s and early 1970s, studying medical sociology, political science, and philosophy.
The son of a Protestant cleric, he grew up in a city that was then in East Prussia and now falls within the borders of Lithuania. His marriage to Anita Atrott began in 1978.