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Portuguese court rejects euthanasia law, ruling it as unconstitutional

Image credit: Marcelo Leal via Unsplash

The Constitutional court in Portugal has ruled that a proposed law that would legalise euthanasia in the country is unconstitutional, on the basis that the conditions upon which a person may avail of the euthanasia is unclear.

In a statement on the decision, the court stated that the proposed law “created an intolerable lack of definition as to the exact scope of application of the new law,” adding that “the conditions under which medically assisted death is legally admissible must be «clear, anticipated and controllable» (Judgment n. 123/2021), and it is up to the legislator to define them in a safe way for all stakeholders.”

According to LifeSiteNews, this is the third attempt to legalise assisted suicide in Portugal. Although the court ruled the proposed law as unconstitutional, euthanasia itself was not, and instead the court stated that the type of suffering that would make one eligible for euthanasia needed clarity.  

This victory for life has been celebrated by pro-life groups. However, in a joint statement by the Portuguese Federation for Life and One of us, the pro-life groups highlight the importance of continuing this fight to defend life.

“[This] is the second time that the Constitutional Court has declared a euthanasia law unconstitutional and the fourth time, since 2018, that the promoters of this law have been frustrated,” the statement read.

“However, this legislative process does not end with this declaration of unconstitutionality, since its promoters have already declared that they will modify the law again, trying to reform its provisions that were declared unconstitutional.”

“The Portuguese Federation Pela Vida and One of Us will continue our fight in defense of Life,” it continued.

“The effort to control the lives of citizens, the control of our death, should make us reflect on the excessive action of governments and certain lobbies that live off the death of their immense power and their commitment to absolute control of our societies.”

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