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Portugal decriminalizes euthanasia despite Rebelo de Sousa’s attempts to prevent it

Portugal decriminalizes euthanasia despite Rebelo de Sousa's attempts to prevent it

The Portuguese Parliament has approved this Friday the decriminalization of euthanasia despite the last political veto of the Portuguese president, the conservative Marcelo Rebelo de Sousaand the rejection of the right, which threatens appeals before the Constitutional Court that will not paralyze the application of the norm.

Almost six years have passed since the Chamber first debated the issue and several versions of the law have been necessary to overcome Rebelo de Sousa’s four attempts to strike down the proposal: two political vetoes and two due to legal issues in the Constitutional Court. .

Finally, the law has gone ahead with 129 votes from the socialist rankswith an absolute majority in the Chamber, the Left Bloc, the animalists, Livre and Iniciativa Liberal, the only right-wing party that joined the initiative.

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Against, 81 votes of the Communist Party -the exception of support between the left-, the conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the far-right Chega.

Both Socialists and PSD gave their deputies freedom to vote and, as a result, 4 of the PS voted against and eight of the Conservatives voted in favor.

The presidential veto does not prevent the entry into force of the law since, as he explained to efe the socialist deputy Isabella Moreirathe Constitution establishes that, despite the presidential veto, with a majority of more than 116 deputies, it can go ahead.

Rebelo de Sousa, a practicing Catholic, now has eight days to promulgate the law. The president wanted to get ahead of the speculation by ensuring that his latest veto responds to a “precision” and not to a problem of unconstitutionality and that “there is no drama” with his approval.

[Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa: “Portugal debe disculparse y enfrentar su implicación en la trata de esclavos”]

From the PSD and Chegahowever, threaten to appeal to the Constitutional Court -although the procedure would not paralyze the application of the regulations- and are committed to calling a referendum.

On the street, 61% of the Portuguese support the decriminalization of euthanasia, according to a survey carried out in February by Aximage for various Portuguese media, which also indicates that the figure grows to 70% in the group between 18 and 35 years of age. .

six years of debate

Portugal thus joins other European neighbours, such as Spain or Belgium, after a process that has lasted six years, has gone through three socialist legislatures and has required five votes in plenary session of Parliament.

“No country has discussed for so many years so many guaranteesso many details, as many procedures as Portugal”, says Isabel Moreira, convinced that the text approved today is “very guaranteed”.

During this long process, Parliament has reformulated its content to overcome each of the vetoes, but has approved the latest wording after ruling out constitutionality problems. “The law has all the legitimacy to proceed,” defends Catarina Martins, from the Left Bloc.

assisted suicide

The text approved this Friday defines medically assisted death as that which “occurs by one’s own decision”applicable in adults who demonstrate “great intensity suffering, with definitive injury of extreme gravity or serious and incurable illness” and when it is “practiced or helped by a health professional”.

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It gives priority to assisted suicide and may be applied in cases of patients who are physically unable to do it on their own. limitsbesides, the procedure to Portuguese citizens or those residing in the country.

The president now has eight days to promulgate the law, which will enter into force the day after its publication in the Diario de la República.

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Written by Editor TLN

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