Bulgarian parliament spurns euthanasia

by Michael Cook | 5 Sep 2011

The Bulgarian Parliament has rejected a euthanasia bill by a vote of 59 to 13, with 29 abstentions. Socialist MP Lyuben Kornezov had proposed a bill which would have allowed euthanasia if a patient made a notarised request. A spouse, adult children or parents could also make a request if a patient was not competent. A panel of three doctors and lawyers would review requests.

According to the Sofia Echo, Mr Kornezov said that euthanasia already had been legalised in some European countries, Japan, Oregon, Albania, Australia, Uruguay and Japan. (Mr Kornezov misinformed his parliament. Only in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg is euthanasia permitted. A few jurisdictions, like Oregon, allow assisted suicide.)

“With gritted teeth and a heavy heart, I say ‘yes’ to euthanasia because for me it is the highest form of humanitarianism,” said Mr Kornezov. If suffering is unbearable, a person must be able to choose between life and death.

Bulgarian news agency BTA reported that other MPs were critical of the proposed law. GERB ruling party MP Daniela Daridkova said that the proposal was against Bulgaria’s constitution, laws and the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath. Vanyo Sharkov of the Blue Coalition said that it was doubtful that doctor would perform euthanasia. And Ataka’s Pavel Shopov said that it was possible to have choices, but not about matters that were the subject of Divine commandments. He quoted the sixth of the ten commandments, “you shall not kill”. ~ Sophia Echo, Sept 1

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