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Portugal's Parliament legalises euthanasia

Portugal,Politics

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Lisbon, Nov 6 (IANS) Lawmakers in Portugal voted to legalise euthanasia by approving a revised bill that fixed objections raised earlier by the Constitutional Court.

The vote was 138 in favour, 84 against and five abstentions, reports Xinhua news agency.

The original bill was vetoed by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in March.

The new law specifies the conditions under which medically assisted death is not punishable, thus changing the country's Penal Code.

The rules are quite restrictive, and only people over 18, who are Portuguese citizens or foreigners legally resident in the country, can resort to euthanasia, the practice of intentionally ending life to relieve pain and suffering.

Only patients in situations of "intolerable suffering, with severe permanent injury or incurable and fatal disease" can opt for this final procedure. Those diagnosed with mental illnesses cannot choose assisted suicide.

President de Sousa still needs to sign the bill into law.

--IANS

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