Portugal’s Euthanasia Law Referred to Constitutional Court

On 18 February 2021, Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa asked the country’s Constitutional Court to evaluate the recently passed euthanasia law which appears to be violating the fundamental principles of the country’s constitution.

Among the grievances stated in the appeal are “excessively imprecise concepts ” such as “unbearable suffering”, with no evaluation of “irreversible injuries” except for the criteria of being permanent, without any reference to whether or not the condition is fatal.

The Constitutional Court must pronounce its’ decision on the draft law within 25 days.

The Portuguese MPs hurriedly voted this highly controversial legislation on January 29th while the entire medical profession and civilians were completely overwhelmed with the coronavirus pandemic raging across the country again. The bill has triggered a strong outcry by the general public.

Depending on the Court’s decision, the legislation could be sent back to Parliament to be re-examined. The final approved draft could be vetoed by the President, although a majority vote in Parliament could then override his veto.

 

 

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