Portuguese parliament debates assisted death

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By Joao Duarte Ferreira
Portuguese parliament debates assisted death
Copyright  AP

The controversial topic of assisted death returns to the headlines this Thursday in Portugal.

In spite of some protests, particularly from religious groups, most political parties support the bill calling for euthanasia to be legalised.

The bills will have their first debate this Thursday, then will be sent for further hearings by a special commission.

Eventually Parliament will again debate and then vote on the five separate bills proposed by the different parties.

Two years after the rejection of a previous bill in 2018, five parties have now put forward one proposal each.

In 2018, the approval of assisted death fell short by only five votes, since then the parties supporting the bill have increased the number of seats they hold in parliament.

The Netherlands was the first European state to decriminalise assisted death in 2002. Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg followed suit.

After Spain's approval this month of a bill related to euthanasia, Portugal is now set to follow the same path.