Monday, November 8, 2021

Portugal passes euthanasia bill. Urge President de Sousa to veto the bill.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Portugal's parliament has once again passed a bill to legalize euthanasia. This is the second euthanasia bill this year to be passed by Portugal's parliament. 

On January 29, Portugal's parliament passed its first euthanasia bill, but the language of the bill was very imprecise.

On February 19, President Marcelo de Sousa decided not to sign the bill into law but instead to refer the bill to the Constitutional court for evaluation. President de Sousa stated that he thought that the bill was: 
"excessively imprecise," potentially creating a situation of "legal uncertainty."
On March 15, Portugal's Constitutional court rejected the euthanasia bill. The Portuguese American Journal reported that the Constitutional court decided:
“the law is imprecise in identifying the circumstances under which those procedures can occur.” The court stated the law must be “clear, precise, clearly envisioned and controllable.” The law lacks the “indispensable rigor.”
Once again, President de Sousa can sign the bill into law or he can refer the bill to the Constitutional court for evaluation.

Please send a message to President de Sousa, urging him to veto the bill. (Link to send a message to President de Sousa). reported that the new bill changed the language of the bill claiming to fulfill the requirements of the Constitutional court. reported:
The rephrasing of the bill clarified the "imprecise" definition for when euthanasia would be possible after the Constitutional Court found that the bill's previous reference to "a definitive injury of extreme seriousness in accordance with scientific consensus" lacked "indispensable rigor."

The new version of the bill, which passed Friday, said euthanasia could be possible in cases of "serious injury, definitive and amply disabling, which makes a person dependent on others or on technology to undertake elementary tasks of daily life," and where there is "very high certainty or probability that such limitations endure over time without the possibility of cure or significant improvement."

Clearly this new bill focuses on euthanasia for people with disabilities.

In July, 2020 I reported that the Portuguese Medical Association informed the government that they will not permit doctors to participate on 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 bills are unconstitutional.

According to, Portugal's parliament was criticised for passing a euthanasia bill while not being able to pass it's budget. Since Portugal's parliament is unable to pass its budget, the government will have an election in January.

Portugal needs to care for and not kill its citizens.

(Link to send a message to President de Sousa).

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