Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Euthanasia “is a dangerous leap into the unknown”

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

President Cavaco Silva
The Portugal News reported on November 29, 2022 that Portugal's former President, Cavaco Silva stated that the legalization of euthanasia:

"does not respect the spirit of the Constitution" and argues that the decriminalisation of this practice is "another sign of the deterioration in the quality of our democracy".
Silva was interviewed by Rádio Renascença concerning the euthanasia vote this week. The Portugal News reported Silva as saying:

"In a country like Portugal, with one of the worst risks of poverty and social exclusion in the European Union and without a network of palliative care that patients from disadvantaged families can access, in a Portugal where impoverishment is accentuated in relation to other countries, the priority of the deputies is the legalisation of the practice of euthanasia, authorising a doctor to kill another person"
Silva stated that he has no doubt that the euthanasia bill is unconstitutional. Silva also stated that:

"authorising a doctor to kill another person by law is an extremely dangerous leap into the unknown",

"in some European countries there have been reports of pressure on the elderly and sick to accept being killed".
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Portugal's parliament has passed a euthanasia bill twice and both times President, Marcelo Rebelo deSouza refused to sign the bill into law.

On January 29, 2021, Portugal's parliament passed its first euthanasia bill. On February 19, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa did not to sign the bill into law but referred the bill to Portugal's Constitutional court for evaluation.

On March 15, the Portuguese American Journal reported that the Constitutional court rejected the bill.

On November 30, 2021, President de Sousa vetoed the second euthanasia bill because of contradictions in the language of the bill.

I hope that either President De Sousa or the Constitutional Court once again reject the euthanasia legislation. Sadly, the previous election resulted in the election of a stronger contingent of pro-euthanasia legislators. 

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