Edition 1496
13 October 2018
Edition: 1496

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Portugal narrowly votes against legalising euthanasia

in News · 31-05-2018 13:31:00 · 0 Comments

Parliament this week voted against four separate bills to decriminalise euthanasia in Portugal. Law decree proposals presented by the ruling Socialists, along with their leftist alliance partners PAN, Left Bloc and the Greens all fell short of gaining the required 115 favourable votes for euthanasia to be legal in the country.

Portugal narrowly votes against legalising euthanasia

While the four bills were all similar in their stipulations, the Socialists came closest to seeing their proposal passed.
Once voting was complete, which saw each of the 229 MPs present in the house individually state their intention, the Socialists had garnered 110 votes in favour, 115 against along with four abstentions.
The two largest political parties, the Socialists (PS) and the Social Democrats (PSD), both allowed MPs to vote according to their conscience and were not required to tow the party line. Overall, six MPs from the conservative PSD voted in favour of decriminalising euthanasia, though only two cast their vote in favour of all six bills, while only two PS MPs voted against.
Despite losing the vote, those in favour of euthanasia have pledged to raise the topic in the next legislative period which starts in 2019, saying the close vote means the debate should not be closed on the matter.
The success of a renewed bid to legalise euthanasia in the future will depend largely on the composition of Parliament, with a greater leftist majority set to pass what would be ground-breaking legislation in what is largely a Catholic country.
Proponents of the bill, which was inspired by a 2016 petition signed by over 8,000 people and promoted by groups defending the right to a “death with dignity” for those seriously ill, said the fight had only just begun.
“The issue is now firmly on the political agenda, it is now in detailed debate in society,” Catarina Martins, leader of the Left Bloc was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Previously, Portugal legalised abortions in 2007 before allowing same-sex marriage in 2010, becoming only the eighth country in the world at the time to permit gay unions.

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Edition 1496
13 October 2018
Edition: 1496

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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