Portugal: MPs plan to vote on euthanasia bill in early January

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On February 20, 2020, the Portuguese Parliament voted on five different proposals to legalize euthanasia. Every proposals passed, even though two years ago, similar proposals were defeated. The parliament is now debating one euthanasia bill.

The Portugal News reported Sunday that the parliament is in the final stages of debating the euthanasia bill. The article states:

The conclusion of the vote, article by article, of the euthanasia law has been set for the first few days in January, and MPs are aiming to have the final global vote on the 8th.

In July I reported that the Portuguese Medical Association opposes euthanasia and 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. 

President Marcelo de Sousa has indicated that he may veto the euthanasia bill, but the situation is complicated by the fact that Portugal’s Presidential election is on January 24, 2021. 

Spain

Last week I reported that Spain’s lower house passed a euthanasia bill by a vote of 198 to 138 (2 members abstained). The bill will now be debated by the Spanish Senate.

The Portuguese socialist government has been pushing to legalize euthanasia for several years. Portugal needs to commit to improving care not approving killing. 

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.