Even after vote in parliament, Portuguese bishops try to halt euthanasia


Southern Europe


Bishop José Ornelas. Still from video Ecclesia

Almost a week after the parliament decided to introduce euthanasia, the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP) called on the “highest authorities” to stop the legislation.

The Catholic news portal Ecclesia has reported that.

“The Church will continue to do everything to defend human life”, the bishops say. Moreover, they will “fight for the increasing generalisation of the palliative care to which any citizen is entitled.”

In a press conference, Bishop José Ornelas, president of the Episcopal Conference, underlined that this is “a matter, above all, of respect for people’s suffering”.

The bishop of Setúbal maintained that “a society that wants to be humanist” cannot propose death as a solution for a person who suffers, defending the creation of a “humanising, affective, welcoming environment”.

Catholic bishops also questioned that the euthanasia law had been approved by “an Assembly of the Republic in the process of dissolution”.

“The uncompromising defence of the right to life inscribed in the Constitution of the Republic, which must be respected without recourse to death, is above any ideology”, the statement added.

Seventh country in the world

Suppose President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa signs the bill. In that case, Portugal will be the seventh country globally that has legalised euthanasia (and fourth in Europe). The law will be applicable for terminally ill people with incurable suffering.

A first bill was approved already in January 2021. But that document was vetoed by the President after the Constitutional Court declared problems in the text. The government started a process of repair and went again to parliament. The Assembly voted for the decriminalisation of euthanasia on November 5th, as Observador reported.

Austria is debating a bill on assisted suicide at the moment.



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