Portugal : Vote for Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia to the Detriment of Palliative Care


On Friday 12th May, the Portuguese parliament approved a law for the decriminalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

This acceptance comes after the initial text was challenged twice by the constitutional court and faced two vetoes by the Portuguese President.

The amended version of the law provides for assisted suicide to be practiced under certain conditions in the first instance and that resorting to euthanasia is authorized only in the event of the physical incapacity of the patient to commit suicide.

This vote is all the more worrying in that Portugal is confronting a crisis of its health system and a lack of development of palliative care. A citizens’ movement “Stop Eutanásia” launched several campaigns in recent years warning of the urgent need for adequate care and accompaniment of the people who are more vulnerable at their end of life, and against the violence and inhumanity of euthanasia.

The subject could again be referred to the constitutional court by members of the parliamentary opposition.

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