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Luxembourg parliament passes euthanasia bill

[JURIST] The Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies [official website, in French] on Wednesday narrowly passed a bill legalizing euthanasia [PDF text, in French], in a move that could make Luxembourg the third European Union country to allow the controversial practice. Before it can take effect, the bill still has to be approved in a second reading. Provisions in the bill require that euthanasia [JURIST news archive] be strictly regulated but allow that it can be requested in a living will. Doctors must also determine that a person is suffering from a "grave and incurable" condition before it can be considered as an option.

The Netherlands [BBC report] legalized euthanasia in 2001 and Belgium [JURIST report] followed suit in 2002. In February 2007, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland [official website, in German] ruled that people with serious mental illnesses may be permitted to commit physician-assisted suicide [JURIST report] under certain conditions. A proposed bill that would legalize assisted suicide in the United Kingdom was set aside by the House of Lords in May 2007 following opposition by physician groups [JURIST reports]. In January 2006, the US Supreme Court upheld Oregon's Death with Dignity Act [JURIST report]; Oregon is the only US state that allows physician-assisted suicide. Euthanasia remains illegal in Italy, France [JURIST reports] and Spain. AFP has more.

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