| Portugal parliament votes to legalise euthanasia

A doctor puts a patient on a drip.

A doctor puts a affected person on a drip.

Portugal’s parliament on Friday handed a law allowing medically assisted dying, placing the Catholic-majority nation on notice to turn into the fourth in Europe to legalise euthanasia.

Earlier than coming into force the bill ought to first be signed into law by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a staunch Catholic and conservative who used to be re-elected excellent closing weekend.

The president – who has yet to develop public his pickle on the arena – might maybe per chance additionally both expend his veto towards the legislation, or refer it to the nation’s constitutional court docket for extra look.

The bill used to be adopted in parliament by 136 votes to 78 with four abstentions – thanks largely to a majority of votes from the ruling Socialist Occasion which had allowed its MPs to vote freely.

If the president did must express his veto, a 2d vote by lawmakers would override it.

Lawmakers had accredited proposals geared toward altering the law in February, organising the vote despite a campaign by the Church for a national referendum on the arena.

The bill legalises gain correct of entry to to assisted suicide for grownup sufferers in a challenge of “low struggling and irreversible hurt”.

Several docs ought to inexperienced-gentle the course of, while a psychiatrist would be known as in if there are doubts about the affected person’s skill to develop a “free and told” selection.

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