By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

LUXEMBOURG, March 18, 2009 ( – Luxembourg has enacted legislation to legalise euthanasia, thereby becoming the third European country, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to permit the intentional killing of dying or otherwise vulnerable people.

The Palliative Care/Euthanasia bill was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday and provides that doctors who carry out euthanasia and assisted suicides will not face “penal sanctions” or civil lawsuits.

“This bill is not a permit to kill,” said Socialist lawmaker Lydie Err, who helped draft it. “It’s not a law for the parents or the doctors but for the patient and the patient alone to decide if he wants to put an end to his suffering.”

According to the bill, euthanasia will be regulated by a living will or advance directive. Doctors will also be required to consult with a colleague to ensure that the patient has a terminal illness and is in a “grave and incurable condition” before killing him.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition condemned the actions of the Luxembourg parliament.

“It is a very sad day for Luxembourg. The nation of Luxembourg has now approved the direct and intentional killing of its citizens at the most vulnerable time of their life,” he said. “Whatever good intentions that may be related to the elimination of suffering, cannot justify the removal of the basic protection of a citizen to be free from lethal coercion, and the protection of life.”

“After many years of euthanasia in the Netherlands, it has now become very apparent that the euthanasia experiment is a failure. Children born with disabilities can be killed if the doctors and the family follow the Groningen Protocol. People with chronic depression can be killed and in the last government report in 2005 it stated that 550 people were killed by euthanasia without consent.”

Schadenberg concluded: “Now Luxembourg is following the path of the Netherlands. I lament the decision and I hope that other national leaders will have the fortitude, like the Grand Duke, to oppose the direct and intentional killing by euthanasia of their vulnerable citizens.”

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg made headlines in December of last year, after he announced that he would not be willing to affix his signature to the new law, as is required for a law to become effective. To solve this problem parliament simply enacted legislation removing the Grand Duke’s veto power.

Last December Pope Benedict XVI expressed his “deep concern” for the advance of euthanasia legislation in Luxembourg, saying that politicians should remember that taking innocent human life is always wrong.

In an audience with Luxembourg ambassador to the Holy See, Paul Duh, the Holy Father spoke about his “most deep concern about the text of the law on euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

The Pope objected to the proposed bill that “concretely legitimizes the possibility of ending life.”

“Political leaders, whose duty is to serve the good of man, as well as doctors and families, must remember that the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always bad from the moral point of view, and can never be licit,” he said. “Love and true compassion embark on another path.”

Addressing the people of Luxembourg, once a predominantly Catholic country, Benedict XVI appealed to their “Christian and humanistic roots,” and asked them to reaffirm the “greatness and the inviolable character of human life.”

To express your concern contact the Minister of State of Luxembourg:
Jean-Claude Juncker
37, route d’Arlon
L-5310 Capellen
Luxembourg, Europe

4, rue de la Congr̩gation, L Р1352 Luxembourg, Europe
Tel : 011 352 478 2106
Fax : 011 352 46 17 20
Email : [email protected]