Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Council of Europe vote ban euthanasia and assisted suicide?

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) yesterday debated and voted on the issue of “Protecting human rights and dignity,” document 12804.

The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed that neither, euthanasia or assisted suicide are permissible under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) or any previous decision.

This decision resulted from two Amendments to the original text tabled by Luca Volonte of the European Peoples Party (EPP) and Timothy Boswell of the European Democrat Group (EDG) and supported by the EPP and EDG, groups The Assembly also re-confirmed that, in case of doubt, there is always a duty to act in favor of life.

Luca Volonte chairman of EPP Group in PACE in a statement said, 
Last year we obtained a great victory in re-affirming conscientious objection, now we are re-confirming Human and Christian values. Today we also fought a good battle and thank God we have won, against a real ideological tyranny of culture of death. The Socialist left and part of Liberal group lost a fundamental battle, now euthanasia is completely banned from PACE.
Whether this is an accurate analysis remains to be seen, queries have arisen on the phrase in the approved text which says, “This resolution is not intended to deal with the issues of euthanasia or assisted suicide”.   I have been advised that this should be interpreted as meaning that this resolution cannot be used to further the cause of those who seek to legalise euthanasia. The principles set forth in the resolution do not apply to euthanasia which shall always be banned.