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Portugal: euthanasia, 4 bills in Parliament. Debate in the media “Dizzying descent into collective irresponsibility”

Today at 3pm, Portugal’s Assembly of the Republic will begin its discussion on four different legislative proposals for the legalisation of euthanasia, submitted by the People-Animal-Nature (PAN) party, the Left Bloc (BE), the Socialist Party (PS), and the Green Party “Os Verdes” (PEV). The debate on the issue is raging in the Portuguese media. The outcome of the voting on “E Day” (“e” as in euthanasia), as the Expresso newspaper calls it, will be “unpredictable” and determined by the Social Democrats (who are expected to vote against, in spite of their leader). The outcome, in any case, is expected to be “tight”. The newspaper adopts a political perspective, briefly summarising the stance of those in favour (some political parties, young doctors) and those against. It also features an interview with writer Miguel Sousa Tavares, emphasizing the complexity of the “legal and judicial issues” at stake; for this reason, there must be “a clear majority” of votes in Parliament. The “Dario de Noticias” opens with the “story of Ana Paula’s father, who committed suicide. He had requested euthanasia in 2007”. And in the “Euthanasia yes or no?” section, there is a pro-euthanasia testimony by an oncologist who survived cancer, whose position is counterbalanced by a reflection by Mafalda Ribeiro, a young woman with physical impairment. According to her, the legalisation of euthanasia is not “a ladder to human dignity” but “a dizzying descent into the collective irresponsibility of society”.

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