Finnish Parliament to look at medical-ethical questions


Northern Europe


A board with the result of a vote at the Parliament's plenary session in Helsinki, Finland. Photo EPA, Kimmo Brandt

After the parliamentary elections, abortion, assisted suicide, and trans rights will soon be up for voting.

As for euthanasia and assisted suicide, more political parties hope for a legalisation of the practices, according to Seurakuntalainen. In euthanasia, the doctor is responsible for the patient’s death. Assisted suicide involves the doctor assisting the patient in a death request, often by injecting poison.

Finland’s parliament is first looking to set down the requirements for euthanasia and assisted suicide. These will include establishing a legal age of consent and a “decision-making capacity,” in cases that cause unbearable suffering. Although there is widespread support for legalising these practices, the Finnish Medical Association currently opposes euthanasia. The only party that has opposed the practice has been the Christian Democrats (KD party). As alternative solution, the KD party has proposed the expansion of hospice care.


Another issue on the table involves the legalisation of non-commercial surrogacy. Non-commercial surrogacy requires paying a fee to the person giving birth. The Ministry of Justice recently published a report which laid the foundation for non-commercial surrogacy in the country. Many parties have opposed commercial surrogacy but support non-commercial surrogacy. The KD party currently opposes all forms of surrogacy.

In addition to proposing surrogacy laws, parliament also wants to expand abortion and trans rights. In the last election period, parliament relaxed abortion legislation and approved a first-ever “trans law.” Finland’s “trans law” now applies to minors who may want to change their legal gender. A “third legal gender” is also being proposed. As for abortion rights, parliament hopes to “increase weekly limits” and make the process easier in getting one. Many KD party MPs have opposed both the trans and abortion rights laws.


According to a previous CNE report, Päivi Räsänen, who is a Christian Democrat MP, has raised questions regarding gender reassignment treatments in the trans laws. Räsänen and the rest of the party have said that “legal gender reassignment treatments” do not address the mental health challenges of those experiencing gender dysphoria. She is also concerned about the high number of young girls receiving hormone blockers while undergoing their transition. Räsänen said that the effects on growth and development are currently unknown in hormone blocker treatments.

"Neuropsychiatric, mental health and personality challenges should be dealt with and treated even before the process related to changing gender,” the party said in a written statement.



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