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Cabinet rejects deputies’ bill allowing euthanasia

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Prague, June 22 (CTK) – The Czech centre-left cabinet rejected yesterday a deputies’ bill enabling to perform euthanasia in strictly defined cases, two ministers have written on Twitter.
In its previous preliminary position on the bill, the cabinet said it goes counter to the coalition agreement in which the government parties, the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), pledged not to pass anything that would be incompatible with the protection of life from the conception until its natural end.
The bill on dignified death has been submitted by six deputies among whom ANO MPs prevail.
The final decision on it is up to parliament.
Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (KDU-CSL) and Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (CSSD) have reported on the government’s negative stand on Twitter.
“The bill, if passed, could result in the killing of people,” Mladek wrote.
Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) wrote that he rejects a simple solution of euthanasia. “I support help, loving care, solidarity and a high-level palliative care, this is a solution,” he wrote.
According to the bill, euthanasia would be possible only for people in hopeless health condition who have asked for it. A special commission would decide whether the conditions for euthanasia were met.
The government, nevertheless, believes that it is unsuitable for the Czech Republic to follow the example of the countries where euthanasia is legal, which the authors of the bill suggest.
“In these countries, cases of clear misuse of euthanasia have been proved, aimed to vacate hospital beds, as well as cases of family members pushing for euthanasia for dubious reasons, and also unpunished cases of the failure to observe the conditions set by law,” the government’s preliminary position said.
It proposed that the cabinet express the need for an extensive and profound discussion on as sensitive an issue as euthanasia.
A similar bill on euthanasia, submitted by a senator, was turned down by the Czech upper house in 2008.
In the lower house of parliament, a poll surveying deputies’ opinions ten years ago showed that a bill on euthanasia would not make it through.

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