1. Das Verständnis von Wohl im Betreuungsrecht – eine Analyse anlässlich der Streichung des Wohlbegriffs aus dem reformierten Gesetz

    E. Braun J. Gather T. Henking J. Vollmann
    The reform of German guardianship law coming into force in 2023 will remove the term “well-being” from the law. This is intended to emphasise that the legal guardian should be guided by the subjective wishes of the person rather than by an objective understanding of well-being. This article analyses the understanding of well-being underlying the reformed guardianship law in comparison to common conceptions of well-being in philosophy and medical ethics, aiming to promote interdisciplinary understanding between ethics and law. The justification for the reform emphasises that the law is based on a subjective understanding of well-being. However, this understanding does not correspond to philosophical subjective theories of well-being, according to which only things that a person desires can contribute to her well-being. In contrast, the guardianship law assumes that the fulfilment of certain wishes can lead to objective harm to the person and thus impair her well-being. Negative consequences for the objective well-being of a person are only relevant insofar as they indicate a limit to following current wishes that are based on a natural will and are not an expression of self-determination. While the term “well-being” is removed from reformed guardianship law, the law implicitly contains an understanding of well-being comparable to a hybrid conception of well-being from a medical ethics perspective. According to this conception, fulfilment of a person’s wishes generally contributes to her well-being, although certain objective criteria are also taken into consideration.