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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » March 18, 2009
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Debate on Euthanasia?
March 18, 2009   
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Prime Minister Donald Tusk proposed March 6 that a national debate should be launched on a range of ethical issues which are highly controversial in Poland-in vitro fertilization, euthanasia, and so-called living wills (legal documents containing people's wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments).

"I wish to encourage all those interested in the subject to talk to each other about the best form of a law on in vitro fertilization, about living wills, which will be stirring up increasingly strong emotions, and about more radical proposals involving euthanasia," Tusk said. He added he wanted a calm debate that avoided inter-party political battles.

His proposals triggered a strong protest from the opposition. Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jarosław Kaczyński said the government was facing more pressing tasks than a public debate on euthanasia. He appealed to Tusk to drop his call for such a debate, saying it would prove socially divisive.

"Our experience after 1989 shows that disputes of this kind are very heated in Poland and lead to sharp and long-term divisions. We do not need them at the moment," Kaczyński said, suggesting that the government should focus on fighting the economic crisis instead of "looking for unnecessary confrontation."

Kaczyński added that PiS was strongly opposed to euthanasia and that the existing regulations on the matter were "quite satisfactory".
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