The head of Portugal’s national nurses’ association recently spoke out against covert euthanasia in the country’s public hospitals.
Speaking on the Catholic station Rádio Renascença, Ana Rita Cavaco claimed that she personally had heard doctors discussing the illegal procedures.
She asserted that euthanasia “is sometimes practiced in the health service hospitals, with doctors suggesting this solution for some patients.”
I have personally witnessed such situations — I don’t need to look for further examples. I have seen cases where doctors have suggested administering insulin to induce an insulin coma. I am not going to shock anybody as everyone who works in the health service knows these things happen out of sight and sound, so let’s talk about it openly.
Cavaco offered no details, but her allegations prompted Portugal’s national medical association to demand that she be prosecuted for claiming that doctors were engaging in an illegal activity.
The association said it was unaware of any specific cases of “explicit or undercover euthanasia in the national health service or any other health institutions” and that Portuguese people should have complete confidence in their doctors:
These statements cannot be passed over in silence with the swiftness with which they were uttered. They are libelous and undermine the dignity of doctors and nurses, so it must be proven or clearly and formally denied.
The Health Ministry ordered an urgent investigation into Cavaco’s allegations.
These claims come at a critical time in Portugal as the country’s Parliament is expected to debate the decriminalization of euthanasia later this year after a petition secured enough signatures to bring the issue before the legislature.
Front-page image via Shuttershock