Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Portugal's President considers euthanasia bill to be unconstitutional.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On January 29, the
Portuguese Parliament voted to legalize euthanasia

EPC responded by urging people to contact President Marcelo de Sousa and urge him to veto the bill.

On February 19, we reported that President de Sousa decided not to sign the bill into law but to refer it to the country's Constitutional court for evaluation.

The Portugal News is reporting that President de Sousa considers the euthanasia bill to be unconstitutional.

President Marcelo de Sousa
The Portugal news article is not saying that President de Sousa thinks that the concept of euthanasia is unconstitutional, but rather that this legislation is unconstitutional. The article states:
According to the head of state, "it does not seem that the legislator provides the physician involved in the procedure with a minimally secure legislative framework that can guide his performance".

"In effect, when referring to the concept of suffering, it seems to inculcate a strong dimension of subjectivity. Since these concepts must be, in the terms of the decree, as will be materialized, filled out, essentially, by the guiding physician and by the specialist doctor, it is unclear how this suffering should be measured: whether from the patient's exclusive perspective, whether from the doctor's assessment of it. In any case, a concept with this degree of indeterminacy does not seem to conform to the demands of normative density resulting from the Fundamental Law", he adds.
In other words, the lack of definition in the euthanasia law does not conform with Portugal’s Constitution which upholds that human life is "sacrosanct".

The Portuguese Medical Association, stated in July, that it opposes euthanasia and informed the government that they will not permit doctors to participate in the euthanasia commission (the commission to approve euthanasia). At the same time, a group of 15 law professors, including Professor Jorge Miranda, known as the father of Portugal's Constitution, stated that the euthanasia bill is unconstitutional.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In contradistiction to the clear vision of the President of Portugal in not signing the euthanasia bill, but in referring it to the Constitutonal Court of Portugal, the Canadian Senate has added liberal criteria for MAID, namely, psychiatric indications and possibly non-terminal indications for euthanasia, sending the Bill C-7 back to the Parliament of Canada to pass into law for all the provinces and territories of Canada.
This would allow, in effect, euthanasia on demand in Canada, similar to the deplorable situation in Belgium and the Netherlands. The counter-measure to MAID in Canada is an urgent demand for and legislation to ensure the availability of quality palliative care anywhere in Canada, under the Canada Health Act, and not have MaiD sneak in by a provincial backdoor approach as medical care under the guise of provincial healthcare.
The current COVID-19 crisis has put the spotlight on the dismal quality of care for the senior citizens of this great land who have spent their lives building this nation of ours! I hope and pray our MPs have the courage of the President of Portugal! Bravo! Submitted, Paul ALS Hwang MDCM, MSc FRCPC ABCN,retired; a Proud Canadian since 1967.