The fourth proposal of parliamentary law decriminalizing medically assisted death or euthanasia in Portugal, promoted like its predecessors by the coalition of socialists, leftists, and environmental and animal rights greens, was again vetoed by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on 19 April, hours after he pointed out that only legal and technical problems remained with the law text. A few minutes after these statements, in a note on the website of the presidency De Sousa announced that he would return Decree No. 43/XV, on medically assisted death, to Parliament, without enactment. “In particular, I ask the Parliament to consider clarifying who defines a patient’s physical inability to self-administer lethal drugs, as well as who should ensure medical supervision during the act of medically assisted death,” he wrote in the letter to the Parliament.
The fourth parliamentary decree on medically assisted death was approved in an overall final vote on 31 March and, after some brushing-up of its final wording, it was published in the Parliamentary Gazette on 13 April. This is the Parliament’s fourth proposal on medically assisted death which envisages that death can legally occur “by the decision of the person, over 18 years of age, whose will is current and reaffirmed, serious, free and clear, in a situation of great suffering, with definitive injuries of extreme severity or serious and incurable illness, when practiced or assisted by health professionals.”
When the first legislative initiatives on the subject arose, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a practicing Catholic, called for a lengthy and wide-ranging public debate, without opening debates on the merits of the proposals or participating in discussions; rather, he preferred to properly respect his own and others’ institutional role and defer to his own reasons for evaluation at the end of the various parliamentary processes.
However, Portugal’s Social Communist majority is obsessed with passing a euthanasia law and the fact that this is the fourth time in three years that they attempted to enact the law shows that euthanasia is a fundamental government priority. When he received the first proposal of Parliament on the matter, President de Sousa referred it to the Constitutional Court, which in turn declared it unconstitutional in March 2021; in November 2021, before the approval of the second proposal, the President used a political veto, believing that it contained contradictory expressions. In the current legislature, after a majority of socialists and leftists approved the third proposal, the President sent the text to the Constitutional Court, which declared it unconstitutional on 30 January. Now, at the fourth haunting attempt by the Portuguese left, the courageous President of the Republic has decided to veto the text again and send it back to Parliament for corrections. President Marcelo de Sousa proves to be a great Catholic politician and a consistent Christian who, in respecting institutions and his role, manages with competence and faith to also respect his own conscience and seek the common good.
As for the Portuguese socialists and leftists, including the greens and environmentalists, the obsessive events of the past three years in Portugal confirm what we have all known for a long time: the Western left actually wants to dispose of the people and promote their death and certainly not their welfare or social justice.
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