Monday, June 15, 2009

Luxembourg palliative care guidelines promote euthanasia

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The recent legalization of euthanasia in Luxembourg has already resulted in a change to the role of palliative care in the tiny European nation.

Under the title: New Guide for Palliative care in Luxembourg, the information states:
A booklet has just been produced in Luxembourg explaining the new law that was passed on March 16th, relating to palliative care and end of life support, which is renowned from the law on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Information and documentation are being produced under the leadership of the National Commission on audit and evaluation set up to oversee the implementation of the law on euthanasia and assisted suicide of terminal or serious and incurable diseases.
The role of palliative care has been changed in the new guide to include: The provision of a substance to end life.

Grand Duke Henri
The legalization of euthanasia in Luxembourg resulted in a constitutional crisis because Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg refused to sign the bill into law forcing the Duchy of Luxembourg to change its constitution by removing the power of the Grand Duke to sign legislation before it becomes the law of the land.

Grand Duke Henri argued that the legalization of euthanasia was unnecessary because the fear of suffering for people with terminal conditions can be effectively treated by palliative care. He further argued that it was unjust to legalize the practise of killing people and that his conscience could not permit him to sign such a bill into law.

The newsreport went on to say that:
The aim of this "Guide to Palliative Care" is to explain the basic principles and key provisions of the law relating to palliative care, the advance directive and support purposes only. It also summarises the various possibilities that already exist or are under development.
To obtain the booklet or for more information, contact Omega 90 (Association luxembourgeoise de soins palliatifs et d‘accompagnement de personnes en fin de vie et en deuil)

138, rue Adolphe Fischer
L-1521 Luxembourg
Tel: 29 77 89-1

Link to the news article:

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