In total, 136 deputies voted in favor, 78 against and four abstained.
While the vote has been praised by many, the Portuguese Episcopal Conference has expressed “sadness and indignation” at the approval in parliament of the decriminalisation of medically assisted death.
"The Portuguese bishops express their sadness and indignation at the parliamentary approval of the law authorising euthanasia and assisted suicide. This sadness and indignation are compounded by the fact that a form of death caused at the moment of the greatest aggravation of a deadly pandemic is legalised, in which we all want to strive to save as many lives as possible, by accepting restrictions on freedom and economic sacrifices”, the bishops said in a statement.
The bishops consider that "it is nonsense to legalise death caused in this context, refusing the lessons that the pandemic has given about the precious value of human life, which the community in general and in particular the health professionals try to save in a superhuman way" and they stress that the approved law may still be subject to constitutionality inspection, "for offending the principle of inviolability of human life" in the fundamental Law.
“The answer to illness and suffering should be, rather, the protection of life, especially when it is most fragile by all means and, namely, access to palliative care, of which the majority of the Portuguese population is still deprived”, they say.