By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On July 27, 2020. the Czech Republic government rejected euthanasia for the third time. Previous attempts to legalise euthanasia came in 2008 and 2016.
According to an article published by BRNO Daily news:
On July 27th, the Czech government blocked another parliamentary effort to legalise euthanasia… The bill was proposed by a group of deputies from ANO and the Pirate Party including Věra Prochazkova (ANO) and Lukáš Bartoň (Piráti). The proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Justice and Chairwoman of the Legislative Council.
In Czech Republic, euthanasia is classed as murder. The deputies proposed a legal framework for the legalisation of assisted suicide for adult patients with terminal conditions due to injury or illness who do not wish to undergo palliative care, provided they made the decision themselves, voluntarily and without coercion… Vera Prochazkova, the main proponent of the bill, said that she was influenced by her personal experience, and by the similar law passed in the Netherlands in 2002.
According to the BRNO Daily news article
Critics have argued that the bill is inconsistent with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which stipulates that everyone has the right to life and to not be deprived of their life. The Ministry of Social Affairs said that the proposed bill did not contain enough safeguards against human error or infringement of the law.
In 2019, Czech Republic President Milos Zeman stated that if euthanasia were passed, he would veto the bill.
In 2016, the last time the Czech Republic rejected euthanasia, the Prague Daily Monitor published comments on Twitter by Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (KDU-CSL) and Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (CSSD):
“The bill, if passed, could result in the killing of people,” Mladek wrote.
Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) wrote that he rejects a simple solution of euthanasia. “I support help, loving care, solidarity and a high-level palliative care, this is a solution.”
In reporting on the 2016 debate, the Prague Daily Monitor reported:
The government… believes that it is unsuitable for the Czech Republic to follow the example of the countries where euthanasia is legal, which the authors of the bill suggest.
“In these countries, cases of clear misuse of euthanasia have been proved, aimed to vacate hospital beds, as well as cases of family members pushing for euthanasia for dubious reasons, and also unpunished cases of the failure to observe the conditions set by law” the government’s preliminary position said.
A similar bill on euthanasia, submitted by a senator, was turned down by the Czech upper house in 2008.
The Czech government needs to focus on caring for people and continue to reject killing people.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.