Image showing the process of euthanasia

Portuguese parliament legalises euthanasia

Portugal has voted to allow euthanasia to help people pass if they are in intense suffering.

The vote overruled a number of vetoes used by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the conservative president of the country, according to the BBC.

The BBC stated that “almost all members of the governing Socialist Party backed the legalisation, as did three smaller left-of centre parties and the Liberal Initiative”.

In 2021, politicians in Jersey voted to approve the principle of legalising assisted dying. It was initiated after 78% of the citizens’ jury, made up of Jersey islanders, ruled it was in favour of changing the law.

More on this, in an article about the responsibility of the will writer for such an instance which was published in 2019, Ruth Heap, Partner at Hillyer McKeown LLP and Head of Private Client Services, stated that:

“[…]Clearly, as solicitors, we have a duty of confidentiality to our clients, and this can only be overridden in the most serious of circumstances. I have separated my advice into two areas. Firstly, what to do if a client informs us of their intentions, and secondly whether anyone who assists the client in ending their life would forfeit any inheritance as a result of involvement in the death.”

Isobel Moreira, the Socialist Party Politian who drove the bill through parliament, “hailed the vote as a realisation of freedoms aspired to in Portugal’s 1974 Revolution, which ushered in democracy”.

In the same article, the President, when vetoed the bill in April, “acknowledged that he saw no legal anomalies in it, unlike previous versions that he sent to the Constitutional Court – it is obliged to sign it into law within eight days of receiving it, once it is published in the official gazette”.

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