.- A bill that would have legalized euthanasia throughout Europe, following the Belgian and Dutch models, has been rejected by a vote of 128 to 56 in the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council. The bill presented by Swiss delegate Dick Marty proposed that experiences with legal euthanasia in Belgium and Holland be studied in order to prevent clandestine acts of euthanasia from spreading in Europe.
In the case of terminal patients, Marty proposed withdrawal of palliative care that provide no hope of recovery because, according to the Swiss delegate, such care would impose “useless suffering” on the patient. He also expressed support for those treatments that would even “contribute to shortening life.”
The bill was presented with a report by the Committee for Legal Affairs and Human Rights, signed by British delegate Kevin McNamara, who noted that “liberalizing euthanasia would be a first step toward recognizing the right to kill, and I don’t know where this slippery slope would lead us.”
Regarding the Belgian and Dutch experiences, McNamara said their legislation is allowing “deliberate killing.” On the other hand, he clarified that death from palliative care is acceptable when it occurs as a consequence of such care, and not when what is being sought is the death of the patient.