Thursday, March 25, 2021

Portugal Euthanasia Bill Declared Unconstitutional



by Filipe Avillez. For original article click here

Portugal’s euthanasia bill has been declared unconstitutional by the country’s top court.

Parliament initially approved five proposed laws on euthanasia in February 2020, these were then streamlined into a single bill which was approved by the house and sent to the President, who had the option of signing it outright, vetoing it or sending it to the constitutional court. He chose the latter, asking the judges to look specifically at issues with the terminology.

Pro-euthanasia parties – mostly left-wing, with the notable exception of the Communist Party, which has come out firmly against euthanasia – ignored the opinions of every expert organization in approving the law, including the doctors’, nurses’ and lawyers’ guilds and the ethics committee.

In a verdict, the judges decided that, as it stands, the bill violates the constitution. Crucially, however, the court said that it was not the concept of euthanasia itself that was unconstitutional, but the vagueness of terms such as “permanent and serious injury”, that the bill included as a pre-condition for euthanasia. Four of the seven judges who voted with the majority, however, wrote a separate opinion claiming that euthanasia does, in fact, violate the right to life.

To read the rest of the article click here.