The lack of consensus on euthanasia means that the Government has no intention of legislating the issue. However, the Executive opens the possibility to the living will, a mechanism that allows terminally ill patients “an end of life with less pain”.
The president of the Macau Medical Association considers that most doctors support euthanasia. Euthanasia has been debated in various parts of the world, with some countries allowing the practice or assisted suicide, although with different conditions. In 2002, Belgium legalized euthanasia for some situations, which involve constant and intolerable suffering, and in 2014 it extended this possibility to minors. In Switzerland, assisted suicide is admitted.
New Zealand recently approved euthanasia after the diploma got the green light through a referendum. The law, which allows assisted death for terminally ill adult patients with a life expectancy of less than six months, is expected to come into force in November next year.
In Macau, the topic remains far from the public sphere and the Government has no intention of legislating it. “The issue of euthanasia is a relatively complicated issue, especially in Chinese society. It involves not only the patient’s life and death, but also human rights, doctors’ code of ethics, laws, social resources, ethics and religion. There is a lot of controversy in the local community and there is no consensus, therefore, the Macao SAR Government has no legislative intentions at this stage, ”the office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture responded to HM.
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