Parties to debate legalisation of euthanasia

One of the current ‘hot topics’ in Portugal, leading political parties are limbering up for a debate on the legalisation of euthanasia.

With proposals already presented to parliament by Bloco de Esquerda and PAN, PS Socialists have said they took will be coming up with their own version of how medically-assisted suicide could be ‘accepted’ into society, while the Greens (PEV) say they too will be presenting proposals.

For now, the only parties unlikely to be engaging are the right-wing CDS-PP and PSD.

The former has spoken out against legalisation of assisted suicide, while the latter has suggested it is open to the debate – would possibly even accept the idea of a national referendum – but is not ready to make any proposals.

PCP communists meantime say it is still a bit “premature” to talk about euthanasia, preferring to see more investment in palliative (end-of-life) care.

Reports schedule the upcoming debate for ‘sometime before the summer recess in July’.

When the issue hit the headlines following a petition calling for euthanasia to be legalised , it rode headlong into controversy: the head of the country’s (right wing) nurses’ association said on a live radio talk show that euthanasia was “already practised by doctors in the public health system”, with the full knowledge of nursing staff (click here).

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