Sunday, February 23, 2020

Portugal may soon legalize doctors lethally injecting their patients.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On February 20, the Portuguese Parliament voted on five different proposals to legalize euthanasia. All of the proposals passed, even though two years ago, similar proposals were defeated.

The Portuguese government will now propose a single bill for parliament.

A report by Barry Hutton for the Associated Press explains that Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa opposes euthanasia and may veto the bill. Hutton wrote:

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who is known to be reluctant about euthanasia, could veto the new law, but parliament can override his veto by voting a second time for approval. The Portuguese president doesn’t have executive powers. 
The head of state also could ask the Constitutional Court to review the legislation; Portugal’s Constitution states that human life is “sacrosanct,” though abortion has been legal in the country since 2007.

Based on the recent vote, it is possible that the Portuguese parliament can over-ride a veto.

Groups that oppose euthanasia are gathering signatures to demand a referendum on the issue. During the parliamentary 
debate on euthanasia, there were hundreds of people protesting euthanasia. One One banner said: 
“Euthanasia doesn’t end suffering, it ends life.”
Recently the Spanish parliament also voted to continue to debate euthanasia

As bad as this is, the debate in Portugal is not over.

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