Bulgarian Ombudsman Suggests Holding Referendum on Euthanasia

Society | June 29, 2011, Wednesday // 17:09|  views

The Bulgarian Ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev, has suggested holding a referendum on the legal regulation of euthanasia in the country. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Healthcare Commission asking him to state his opinion on the Euthanasia Act tabled by socialist MP Lyuben Kornezov.

Penchev reminds that the spirit of the law must be talked through before discussing the details and the precise wording of the text.

He also adds that, in this case, these deliberations must be preceded by a comprehensive public opinion survey on the possibility of introducing a legal regulation of euthanasia.

In Penchev's words, the issue concerns the first of the basic human rights, the right to life, but it is not a legal or political matter and is not part of Bulgaria's commitments as an EU member state and as a party to international treaties.

The Ombudsman is positive that the legal regulation of euthanasia is a question of ethics, of a national mindset and of a value system.

"The importance of this issue calls for a direct decision taken by the Bulgarian people, which is why I suggest that we apply the provisions for holding a nationwide referendum for the first time since the creation of the Direct Participation of Citizens in State Authority and Local Government Act", the letter reads.

Penchev suggests that the referendum on euthanasia in Bulgaria be held together with the presidential and local elections scheduled for October 23 2011.

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Tags: Konstantin Penchev, Ombudsman, Lyuben Kornezov, euthanasia


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