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Exitorial Note

The Health Committee of Uruguay's Lower House has passed a bill approving euthanasia leading to the headline, 'Uruguay Parliament Supports Euthanasia Bill' reports Mercopress. The debate is now likely to be held next month.

The bill consists of 12 articles and combines the original text submitted by Congressman Ope Pasquet from the Colorado Party and the opposition Frente Amplio (FA - Broad Front) proposal.

Congresswoman Cristina Lustemberg has noted that “the conditions that the health team has to take into account are very clear” when deciding if a person is eligible for medically ending his/her own life.

“Any person of legal age, psychically fit, who suffers from one or more chronic, incurable and irreversible pathologies or health conditions that seriously undermine their quality of life, causing them unbearable suffering, has the right to be euthanized at their request and through the procedure established in the present law, so that their death takes place in a painless, peaceful and respectful way to their dignity”, states article 2 of the bill voted on Tuesday.


While this proposed law is heavily medicalised, it is progressive in the sense that it includes health conditions that ‘seriously undermine their quality of life’.

This could – for all intents and purposes – include advanced old age.

The second point of interest is that the Bill discusses end of life choices as a ‘right’. This is a welcome inclusion.

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A Peaceful Death is Everybody's Right?

Described as 'A Peaceful Ending at Midnight' history has long held that King George V was assisted with Euthanasia according to The Express.

King George V, passed away when he was 70 years old.

Prior to his death, the King was receiving treatment from his doctor, Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn and physician to the Royal Family.

During the 2020 Channel 5 documentary called George V: The Tyrant King, Lord Dawson’s notes revealed that he assisted in the King’s death at 11pm on Janurary 20, 1936.

Lord Dawson wrote:

“At about 11 o'clock it was evident that the last stage might endure for many hours, unknown to the Patient but little comporting with that dignity and serenity which he so richly merited and which demanded a brief final scene.

“Hours of waiting just for the mechanical end when all that is really life has departed only exhausts the onlookers [and] keeps them so strained that they cannot avail themselves of the solace of thought, communion or prayer.

"I, therefore, decided to determine the end and injected (myself) morphia gr.3/4 and shortly afterwards cocaine gr.1 into the distended jugular vein... In about 1/4 an hour – breathing quieter – appearance more placid – physical struggle gone.”

Make of it what you will ...
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