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In Portugal, active euthanasia is considered a crime, punished by article 133 of the Penal Code.

However, since 2015, Portuguese civil society and political parties have been discussing assertively the issue of euthanasia – medical assistance in dying. In particular, this is due to the inclusion of the topic of euthanasia by PAN – People Animals and Nature (a Portuguese centre-left-wing party) in its electoral platform of 2015, wanting to “open discussion on euthanasia” (it was the only political party doing that expressly). But it is also due to the petition 103/XIII/ 1 of the civic movement “Right to die with dignity”, on the decriminalization of medical assistance in dying, which entered the Portuguese Parliament in April 2016. After that, the debate has entered a phase of broad socio-political and legislative discussion :
Project of law 418/XIII/2ª– “Regulates access to medical assistance in dying” (February 2017). This project of law, presented by PAN, intends to allow medical assistance in dying in cases of incurable disease or injury, which causes intense or persistent physical and psychological suffering, which is not bearable by the patient or in cases of clinical incapacity or absolute or definitive dependency.

Project of law 773/XIII/3.ª – “Defines and regulates the conditions in which the anticipation of death, by decision of the person with final injury or incurable and fatal disease, and which is in during and unbearable suffering, is not punishable”. This project of law, presented by Bloco de Esquerda (a Portuguese left-wing political party), proceeds a draft bill of February 2017, and declares that the request for anticipation of death is the “free, serious and enlightened will of a person with final injury or incurable and fatal disease and in lasting and unbearable suffering”.

D 27 février 2018    AHelena Vilaça AJorge Botelho Moniz

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