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President, health minister reject euthanasia

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Lany, Central Bohemia, April 22 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman, Health Minister Miloslav Ludvik and his predecessor Svatopluk Nemecek (both Social Democrats, CSSD) rejected the plan to make euthanasia legal in their talks at the presidential chateau in Lany near Prague today.

“We agreed with the president on a negative position on the possibility of euthanasia. There is palliative care, we can relieve pain. The introduction of possible killing is outside the rules,” Nemecek told CTK.

Zeman was interested in the bill on dignified death that has been submitted by several MPs. The Chamber of Deputies is to discuss the bill at its present session. The government rejected the bill last year.

Zeman has been promoting hospice care for the terminally ill and the dying. Hospice home care has been tested within a project financed by the VZP majority health insurer that is to be extended this year.

Nemecek said the meeting lasted more than three hours.

“We talked about health care in general, about the legislation, payments of treatment and euthanasia,” Ludvik said.

He said they also discussed the lack of nurses in hospitals.

Nemecek said Zeman showed interest in ways of preventing sick leaves from being abused.

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