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Portugal approves euthanasia in spite of protests

The vote may add Portugal to the short list of countries that allow such practices, though the country’s conservative president could veto the legislation, sending it back to parliament.

Lawmakers in the 230-seat parliament stated their vote one by one on a series of five proposals — instead of voting electronically — a method only used for landmark legislation. Each bill passed by a margin of 28 and 41 votes.

In a similar debate two years ago, lawmakers rejected euthanasia by two votes.

Euthanasia — when a doctor directly administers fatal drugs to a patient — is legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Physician-assisted suicide — where patients administer the lethal drug themselves, under medical supervision — is allowed in a number of U.S. states.

All five bills require that a qualifying patient be over 18 years and not suffering from a mental illness, as well as suffering from “unbearable” pain “without a hope for a cure.”

Source: Fox News

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