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Latvia rejects euthanasia

The Latvian Parliament has rejected a public petition that called for the legalisation of euthanasia.

On 25 March, after a citizens initiative collected 10,000 signatures, the Saeima (Latvian Parliament) voted 49 to 38 against legalising euthanasia in Latvia.

Saeima Deputy Dr Vitālijs Orlovs said during the debate: “I understand what the initiative is about, but I was taught to fight for patients’ lives to the end. I cannot imagine injecting a person with some substance to help them die — not for any amount of money”.

According to the Latvian public broadcaster LSM.LV, representatives saw this debate as an opportunity to discuss improving end of life care more generally for Latvians.

Opposition MP Viktors Valainis (Union of Greens and Farmers) said euthanasia is “absolutely unacceptable” because it ignores a number of problems in palliative care. At the same time, Valainis stated that he was prepared to do everything necessary to improve the medical sector in the country.

Similarly, Saeima deputy Anda Čakša said that the topic of euthanasia should not be discussed until the issue of palliative care is resolved in the country.

The Netherlands: “a model” for euthanasia

The author of the petition, Pēteris Buks, drew attention to the Netherlands as a model for what euthanasia in Latvia could look like.

The Netherlands first introduced euthanasia in 2002 and since then has significantly expanded the scope of the law. Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge outlined his plans to introduce euthanasia for children age one to twelve.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “The last two decades have seen an enormous push by the pro-euthanasia and pro-assisted suicide lobby across Europe. It has been successful in Belgium and the Netherlands, and has more recently been joined by Spain and Luxembourg. However, strong opposition to this dangerous legislation remains. In the UK, Parliament has consistently rejected attempts to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide. Most recently in 2015 with the defeat of the Marris-Falconer Bill, which was defeated 330-118. Similarly, politicians in France last week rejected legislation to introduce euthanasia into the country”.

“As this case in Latvia illustrates, part of the push for euthanasia is driven by real or perceived inadequacies in end of life care, particularly the provision of palliative care. Effective and widespread palliative care can go a long way towards dissuading people from ending their lives by euthanasia or assisted suicide”.

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Dear reader, 

Thanks to the support from people like you, in July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth - failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on four separate fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth. A similar law was introduced to New Zealand last year and recently released data shows that the country saw a 43% increase in late-term abortions in 2020.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which will be receiving a Second Reading in the House of Lords on 22 October.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland and abortion campaigners are also running a large campaign to try and introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions to Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

Q

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    Q

    Be the first to know…

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      Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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