Luxembourg to Strip Monarch’s Power for Not Signing Bill Allowing Euthanasia

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 2, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Luxembourg to Strip Monarch’s Power for Not Signing Bill Allowing Euthanasia

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 2
, 2008

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (LifeNews.com) — The parliament in the tiny European nation of Luxembourg plans to remove Grand Duke Henri’s power to approve laws because he refuses to sign a bill that would legalize euthanasia. In February, the parliament approved a bill to make the country the third to allow the practice.

Lawmakers approved allowing doctors to help patients kill themselves without facing any legal consequences.

The measure is due to have a final reading and vote later this month, but the Grand Duke, who holds executive power similar to a president and must sign off on bills for them to become law, opposes the measure.

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told Reuters on Tuesday that the parliament would put forward a vote on a resolution to change the nation’s constitution to strip the Grand Duke of that power.

"That means he will only technically enact laws," Juncker said of the potential bill.

Juncker is a member of the Christian Social Party, which generally opposed the bill, but he said he expected a debate on the Grand Duke’s power along with the final vote on the euthanasia bill in the coming weeks.

Just 30 of the 59 members of the nation’s parliament approved the euthanasia bill back in February. Nearly all of the members of Juncker’s Social Christian Party voted against it.

Catholic leaders are continuing a lobbying campaign with the hopes of defeating it on the final reading and they are joined by medical and physicians groups.

Under the bill, patients can request help in dying in a living will or advanced directive and doctors must get a second opinion that patients are in a "grave and incurable condition" before killing them.

The measure also creates a national commission that will evaluate every case to ensure the law and its guidelines are followed when patients are killed.

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