President of Portugal Vetos Euthanasia Bill for The Second Time
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has once again vetoed a bill calling for the legalisation of euthanasia in Portugal.
As the next Portuguese general election is as soon as January the Parliament is now unlikely to be able to override the President’s veto in the lifetime of this government.
It is just under a year since the Portuguese Parliament first tabled a bill on assisted suicide. At that time there was huge public opposition to the move and many thousands of people protested the legislation.
In this particular bill euthanasia refers to direct administration of medication by a health care professional that will cause the death of the person as opposed to a physician assisted suicide where an individual would be killing oneself with doctor-prescribed medication.
The Parliament gave its approval to the bill but the President vetoed the bill stating that the wording was too vague.
This move will delay the bill until after the next general election when the new government will be formed and therefore make this an election issue. The public's opposition to euthanasia was unheeded by the parilament over the last year and now the public have their opportunity to use the ballot box to stop euthanasia and indeed this government returning to power.
This same ruling Socialist Party who are pushing hard for euthanasia and assisted suicide are the same party that legalised abortion in Portugal back in 2007.