Uruguay Lower House Health Committee approves euthanasia

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Uruguay Lower House Health Committee passed a euthanasia bill on September 6. The bill still needs to be debated and voted-on by the whole Lower House. According to a Mercopress report:

The Health Committee of Uruguay’s Lower House has passed a bill approving euthanasia. The body is now to debate the issue in a plenary session, probably next month, it was reported in Montevideo.

The article suggests that the bill is restrictive but the language in the article indicates that the bill is actually very loose. The Mercopress articles states:

“Any person of legal age, psychically fit, who suffers from one or more chronic, incurable and irreversible pathologies or health conditions that seriously undermine their quality of life, causing them unbearable suffering, has the right to be euthanized at their request and through the procedure established in the present law, so that their death takes place in a painless, peaceful and respectful way to their dignity.

The phrase “suffers from one or more chronic, incurable and irreversible pathologies or health conditions that seriously undermine their quality of life” will specifically permit euthanasia for people with disabilities or other chronic conditions. This law seems to be based on a eugenic philosophy that some lives are not worth living.

The article also states that the person must be approved by two doctors and it requires a three day waiting period. 

It is interesting that the article states that if the second doctor rejects the euthanasia request, a third doctor could be consulted. But if the third doctor also rejects the euthanasia request then the euthanasia will not happen.

Uruguay needs to study the experience with euthanasia in Canada and then reject it. Canada’s has quickly become the most permissive euthanasia regime in the world.

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