The future civil code will legalize the right to a dignified death which, under strictly prescribed conditions, would be exercised by patients suffering from severe and terminal illnesses, the Politika daily has found out. After two years of discussion, the government commission for the drafting of this code decided to include in the latest version of the pre-draft a provision on the possibility for people suffering from serious and terminal illnesses to end their life in a dignified manner, based on their decision or the consent of the loved ones. “The right to euthanasia, as the right of a natural person to a consensual, voluntary and dignified end of life, can be exceptionally exercised if the prescribed humane, psycho-social and medical conditions are met. The abuse of the right to euthanasia in order to obtain unfounded financial or other benefits constitutes the basis for criminal charges,” says Article 86 of the draft Civil Code. If laws guarantee the right of man to a dignified life, then they should also allow the right to a dignified end of life. People suffering from serious and terminal illnesses would have the ability to decide on the cessation of agony and a condition that is difficult to tolerate and only provokes pain and compassion. The Commission is ready to assume responsibility for such a proposal and expects that in the public debate there will be serious and strong arguments for and against euthanasia, says Prof. Miodrag Orlic, MD who heads the commission for the drafting of the Code. The legalization of euthanasia in Serbia will be publicly discussed for the first time next week at the “Budva Legal Days” consulting conference, from June 2-6, organized by the Union of Associations of Lawyers of Serbia and Republika Srpska.
Photo: Beta/Milan Obradović