The cruel pain and the prospect of dying indignified lead many people to consider voluntary death. Euthanasia, or killing on request, is legal in only a few countries. Debates about whether to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide have been going on for many years in the Czech Republic.
The last time a group of MPs for the Pirates and ANO movements tried to legalize euthanasia was in 2020. The leading cause of embarrassment and opposition is the fear of abuse. A majority in favor of legalizing euthanasia has not yet been found in the Chamber of Deputies.
Euthanasia allows a patient with a terminal illness to be deliberately put to death at their request to shorten their suffering. Assisted suicide is another possible form of ending life with a terminal illness. This act is not carried out directly by a doctor but by the patient himself.
The ČLK is opposed
In the opinion of the Czech Medical Chamber (ČLK) and its President, Milan Kubek, it is always necessary to help and never harm medicine. “Euthanasia, i.e., compassionate killing, is not legal in the Czech Republic, and the Medical Chamber does not agree with it,” Kubek said.
Euthanasia poses not only an ethical problem but also a legal one. Former MP Lukáš Barton (Pirates), who co-sponsored a bill to legalize euthanasia in 2020, has the opposite stance on euthanasia to Kubek.
There is no will in the Chamber of Deputies
Another co-sponsor of the bill, MP Pavel Růžička (ANO), would support the euthanasia law in the current parliamentary term. “I think everyone should be free to decide whether they want to end their lives or continue suffering,” he said.
Bohuslav Svoboda, a doctor and MP for the ODS party confirmed no political will in the lower house to allow Czechs to undergo euthanasia legally.
“Euthanasia, in my opinion, is not entirely desirable in the Czech Republic. People do not ask us, doctors, to do it. I think it is not a topic, but we will probably deal with it in the future,” Svoboda, the chairman of the health committee, said.
The fight continues
According to Milan Hamerský, a member of the Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia, there is a chance.
“The virtue of euthanasia is above all respect for the rights of the suffering to decide their end. Then there is the establishment of clear rules for the relationship between the dying, doctors, relatives, and the state. A merciful lie denies the dying the right to know their true condition and prognosis. I do not want our citizens to choose between amateur suicide and going abroad,” Hamerský explained.