Luxembourg has legalised euthanasia after the constitution was changed
to allow for the passage of laws without the grand duke's approval. Neighbouring
Belgium and the Netherlands legalised euthanasia in 2002, and Swiss law allows
doctors to provide patients with poison for them to take. [AFP
on Yahoo!, 17 March]
Council of Europe Propagates Anti-Family Policies
special committee of the Council of Europe met in
Strasbourg, France, to promote the implementation of the Yogyakarta Principles on
sexual orientation and gender identity among the 47 member
There were calls for a ban on "hate speech"
with attention "on politicians,
opinion leaders, religious dignitaries and the media".
Sweden earlier prosecuted Pastor Åke Green, a
Pentecostal minister, for a sermon he gave on the sinfulness of homosexual
conduct. The Swedish Supreme Court overturned his conviction, noting
that his conduct was illegal under Swedish law, but in the European
Convention on Human Rights free speech protections overrode Swedish
The Yogyakarta Principles, if ever given binding effect, would
weaken free speech
as they call upon the
State to ensure that the exercise of freedom of expression and religion do not
violate "the rights of freedoms of persons of diverse sexual orientations and
Several of the
Yogyakarta Principles would undermine the authority of parents
to rear children
in accordance with their values.
The Yogyakarta Principles have received considerable
emphasis among certain European states. In December 2008, Dutch Foreign Affairs
Minister promoted the
Yogyakarta Principles at the UN General Assembly.
The Human Rights Council have questioned Malaysia on its anti-sodomy laws,
prodding the government to bring its laws and policies ?in line with the
The Council of Europe is distinct from the
European Union (EU) and its affiliated organizations. Larger in membership and
older than the EU, the CoE is considered the chief protector and promoter of
human rights in Europe.
March 17, 2009
Luxembourg becomes third EU country to
Luxembourg has become the third European
country to legalize euthanasia after the Netherlands and Belgium. The Palitative Care / Euthanasia bill has
now been enacted following publication in the Official Journal this
Doctors who carry out euthanasia and assisted suicides will not face "penal
sanctions" or civil suits for damages and interest.
The law was the source of great controversy in the
tiny country where the head of state, deeply catholic Grand Duke Henri, refused
to sign off on the bill, triggering a constitutional crisis. To get around his refusal and avoid such problems in
the future, Luxembourg's parliament voted for legislation to give the monarch a
purely ceremonial role.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, a doctor can provide a patient who
wants to die with lethal medication that the patient has to take by him or