PORTUGUESE Parliament Approves Decriminalisation Of Euthanasia bringing criticism from the Bishops
The Portuguese Parliament has approved the decriminalisation of medically assisted death, or euthanasia as it is more commonly called, with a vote of 136 – 78, and four deputies abstaining.
The vote of approval, while praised by some members of the public, has received stinging criticism from the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, who expressed ‘sadness and indignation’ at the announcement.
In a statement, a spokesman said, “The Portuguese bishops express their sadness and indignation at the parliamentary approval of the law authorising euthanasia and assisted suicide”.
It continued, “This sadness and indignation are compounded by the fact that a form of death caused at the moment of the greatest aggravation of a deadly pandemic is legalised, in which we all want to strive to save as many lives as possible, by accepting restrictions on freedom and economic sacrifices”.
They added, “It is nonsense to legalise death caused in this context, refusing the lessons that the pandemic has given about the precious value of human life, which the community in general and in particular the health professionals try to save in a superhuman way”, stressing that the new law might yet be subject to ‘constitutionality inspection’, “for offending the principle of inviolability of human life in the fundamental Law”.
Their statement concluded, “The answer to illness and suffering should be, rather, the protection of life, especially when it is most fragile by all means and, namely, access to palliative care, of which the majority of the Portuguese population is still deprived”.
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