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Ministry: Hungary doesn’t want to legalise euthanasia

Euthanasia is not legally permitted in Hungary, and the government does not want to legalise it, the justice ministry said on Tuesday in connection with a case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
29. November 2023 5:33

The case concerns a Hungarian individual’s petition filed with the ECtHR against Hungary’s ban on assisted suicide and the law prohibiting him from undergoing legal euthanasia abroad, too. The petition is being treated as a priority case by the court. Council of Europe member states have broad discretionary powers when it comes to euthanasia, with most of them, including Hungary, against legalising assisted suicide, the ministry said in a statement.

The ECtHR heard experts in the Karsai v. Hungary case on Monday and Tuesday, with the justice ministry representing Hungary. The ministry said Hungary considered “unacceptable” all decisions and aspirations which “enable others to end a person’s life”.

The ministry cited Article 2 of Hungary’s constitution and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which guarantee the right to life. At the same time, neither Hungary’s constitution nor international law, including the ECHR, guarantee the right to die, it argued.

The statement said the “fulfilment of dignity and its preservation” were not a political issue or a matter of worldview, but a fundamental right which could not override the sanctity of life. “The protection of life is primary in Christian culture, including in Hungary,” it added.

The ministry said assisted suicide left room for “numerous forms of abuse”, stressing Hungary’s position that “no one can take another’s life for any reason”.

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