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Euthanasia Bill Presented in Parliament

Five MPs from the Reform Party have presented the first ever bill in Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament, concerning euthanasia, Morgunblaðið reports.

Katrín Sigríður J. Steingrímsdóttir, a reserve MP for the Reform Party, presented the bill on her colleagues’ behalf. “I think most of us have experienced having loved ones with terminal illness and dealing with pain,” she said, adding that euthanasia, or the assisted termination of life, should be one option of many. “I think this option should be available for people in this situation, as this is a matter of personal freedom and a humanitarian issue at the same time, and I think it’s very important that Alþingi has the chance to have experts submit reviews on this issue.”

Guiding light of liberal politics

Katrín Sigríður added that the people affected by the issue need someone to fight for their rights and that she wanted to introduce the subject during her temporary service in Alþingi as a reserve MP. “Euthanasia has been a cause close to my heart for many years, so I wanted to champion it,” she said. “A subject like euthanasia is at the core of my politics, combining liberalism and a humanitarian view, which is my guiding light politically.”

Doctors could opt out

Euthanasia is legal in many European countries, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany. Katrín Sigríður said that her bill is based on the Dutch law and that there are many ethical questions that need to be answered. “That’s why I thought it important to add a clause to the bill allowing doctors to opt out of providing this assistance and that they would be in their right to choose whether to help with euthanasia or not,” she said, adding that she wanted to respect people’s convictions if they objected on religious or moral grounds.

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