The Association of Portuguese Catholic Doctors has thanked President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for vetoing a euthanasia bill passed by the Portuguese parliament last month. Source: CNA.
The parliament approved a first version of the euthanasia bill in early 2021. But in March, Mr Rebelo de Sousa vetoed the text as unconstitutional. The parliament approved a second version on November 5, which was then vetoed by the president on November 29.
The doctors thanked Mr Rebelo de Sousa in a statement, reaffirming that human life must be defended “in all circumstances” and stressed that “doctors cannot be agents of death”.
“As Catholic doctors, we want to continue caring for all the sick, including those at the end of life, who are more fragile,” they said.
“We will continue to fight for them, to treat them and give meaning to every moment of their life, also giving meaning to the oath that we took as professionals and making visible the Christian faith that we share.”
In vetoing the bill for the second time, Mr Rebelo de Sousa asked the parliament to clarify “what appear to be contradictions in the law on one of the grounds for resorting to assisted death”.
The latest version of the bill “maintains in a regulation the requirement of a ‘fatal disease’” to request euthanasia, but “extends it, in another regulation, to an ‘incurable disease', even if it’s not fatal.’”