Portuguese parliament approves a law to legalize euthanasia

Portugal's Parliament on Friday passed a bill to legalize euthanasia, which will still need to be approved by conservative President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, news wires reported. The law was backed by 136 lawmakers and opposed by 78 parliamentarians.

The 72-year-old president, who was re-elected recently, has the option of submitting the draft to the Constitutional Court for review or of exercising his veto. Parliament could still override a presidential veto with the votes of three quarters of lawmakers.

The right-wing conservative CDS party said that it would do everything possible to have the draft declared unconstitutional.

The legislation sets up Portugal to become the seventh country to allow terminally ill patients to seek assistance from a doctor to end their own life.

The lower house of the Spanish parliament passed similar legislation last month. Approval from the upper house is still pending.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and New Zealand also have laws governing assisted suicide.

Similar articles