Lisbon, Portugal, Feb 20, 2020 / 18:29 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Lawmakers in Portugal debated five pieces of legislation Thursday to decriminalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, and doctors in the country are joining with the Catholic Church in opposing the potential change.
Each of the bills, which are not substantially different, were approved by the unicameral parliament Feb. 20.
“The most dignified option against euthanasia is in palliative care as a commitment to proximity, respect and care for human life until its natural end,” the Portugese bishops' conference said Feb. 11, urging support for a referendum on the topic rather than a legislative change.
The Portuguese Doctors' Association says the legislation violates key principles of the medical profession, MailOnline reports.
“Doctors learn to treat patients and save lives. They are not prepared to take part in procedures leading to death,” PDA president Miguel Guimaraes said after meeting with Portugese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who has expressed reluctance to signing the legislation.