Luxembourg: Culture of Death Will Not be Denied

Luxembourg is hell bent on enacting euthanasia legislation, but the sovereign Grand Duke Henri refuses to sign the bill, which would prevent it from taking effect. What to do? Change the constitution! From the story:

Luxembourg was plunged into a constitutional crisis on Tuesday after the sovereign, Grand Duke Henri, threatened to block a law legalising euthanasia if it is passed by parliament. Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker responded by saying the country would change its constitution to reduce the powers of the sovereign, who traditionally stays above the political fray. “Because we wish to avoid a constitutional crisis, but at the same time respect the opinion of the Grand Duke, we are going to take out the term ‘approve’ from article 34 of the constitution and replace it with the word ‘promulgate,'” said Juncker, a move which would scrap the sovereign’s formal power to block laws.

Juncker’s announcement came after Grand Duke Henri, the constitutional sovereign, warned that he would not sign off on a law to legalise euthanasia if it is passed by parliament.

It also came after two hours of talks with political party leaders, leaving little doubt that Juncker had the backing for the move. Such a constitutional change would require a two-thirds majority in parliament. “I understand the Grand Duke’s problems of conscience. But I believe that if the parliament votes in a law, it must be brought into force,” Juncker said earlier, despite his own personal opposition to the bill.

Two quick points, well actually, three:

— First, good for the Grand Duke. In this way he won’t be complicit in the killing.

— Second, the acquiescence of the political leader to euthanasia forces, to the point that he is willing to change the constitution, makes him morally complicit in every such death that occurs under the law.

— And finally, this illustrates a big difference between those who oppose and support the COD. Supporters of euthanasia, etc., if faced with the refusal by the Grand Duke to sign a law outlawing euthanasia, would never accommodate their opponents by changing the constitution to ensure the law was enacted. They would instead happily take advantage of his reluctance to block the law from going into effect.

And that is a big difference between the supporters and opponents of the culture of death, in my view: Proponents believe in winning by any legal way possible! And they don’t much care whether it is by court fiat, legislative victory, jury nullification, executive order, or legal technicality. Opponents are not nearly that insistent on stopping the agenda. They want to appear fair.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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