Luxemburg limits Grand Duke, legalizes euthanasia after putting

From CNA:

Luxemburg legalizes euthanasia after putting limits on Grand Duke’s power

Luxembourg, Mar 19, 2009 / 02:04 pm (CNA).- The Parliament of Luxemburg approved a law Tuesday legalizing abortion by a vote of 30-26, after limiting the powers of the Grand Duke Henry I, who had refused to sanction the measure for reasons of consciences

Luxemburg has thus become the third EU country to enshrine euthanasia for the terminally ill in its law.

The new norm exempts doctors from legal or civil action for responding to a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide [for now] by an adult or a minor who has been diagnosed with an irreversible illness. [How will that be defined?]

The measure was debated by the Luxemburg Parliament last December, but on that occasion the Grand Duke announced he would not sanction the measure. Consequently the anti-life Parliament passed a change to the Constitution to limit the Duke’s powers. Now Duke Henry I will not have to sanction laws for them to take effect, he will merely promulgate them.

Media reports at the time claimed the Grand Duke was repeating the crisis provoked in 1990 by his uncle, King Baldwin of Belgium, who refused to sign the legalization of abortion approved by the two Belgian legislative houses.  Until now Holland and Belgium were the only two EU countries that allowed euthanasia under certain conditions.

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  1. supertradmom says:

    If, as Belloc said, “Europe is the Faith, and the Faith is Europe”, we now know that Europe will disappear, just as the Roman Catholic Faith has disappeared from the halls of power in Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg.

  2. Trevor says:

    “The new norm exempts doctors from legal or civil action for responding to a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide by an adult or a minor who has been diagnosed with an irreversible illness.”

    It continues to amaze me that the medical community won’t let minors make decisions regarding their health, except when it comes to killing yourself or your children.

  3. ModKnight says:

    “approved a law Tuesday legalizing abortion [sic] by a vote of 30-26” ??? CNS website now has the word euthanasia.

  4. Tom Cole says:

    Long live the Grand Duke! It is good to see a “figurehead” looking out for his country. So much for the will of the people…

  5. He is no longer a sovereign monarch; he’s a Grand Duke in name only. Why on earth did he give his assent to the bill which stripped him from his powers?

  6. TJM says:

    Adolph Hitler would be so proud of the Luxemburgers. What progress, what humanity. Tom

  7. Matthias says:

    I am disappointed in the Grand Duke, but I do not understand the situation in Luxembourg well enough to pass judgment on the Duke’s actions. If he hadn’t signed the bill to remove his powers, we’d probably be looking at another republican government in Europe and the destruction of another Monarchy. I believe here the live today to fight another day is probably appropriate.

  8. Kaneohe says:

    Shane and Matthias – please reread the article!

    The Grand Duke REFUSED to sanction Parliment’s bill legalizing euthanasia.
    He in effected voted FOR LIFE – even though he knew that Parliment, in a pique of temper,
    would then limit his authority to sanction any laws.

    The Duke would rather suffer lost of power than approve/sanction a bill in favor of euthanasia.

    Now that’s is a true Catholic leader.

    American politicians should have such faith and morals.

    My prayers and heartfelt congratulations to the Duke for his noble stance.

  9. Mitchell NY says:

    Wasn’t his power to sanction the way to keep the gov’t in check and provide a balance to perhaps hasty laws? Congrats to Lux for adding to instability in Europe and dismantling a stable system and wonderful symbol of a constitutional monarchy that functions as a unit with everyone in check….So foolish, parliment has now given ill individuals the opportunity to play God and risk their own souls….

  10. MargaretMN says:

    Yeah, the Duke is a hero. I can think of leaders who would have compromised on far less. We are talking about a constitutional monarchy that no doubt could be legislated out of existence if found inconvenient by parliament. The Duke was definitely risking his position and that of his heirs as well.

  11. LCB says:

    One step away from mandatory suicide for those who would be too great a drag on the state.

  12. Matt says:

    It is said when Arabic leaders defend the unborn and the old more than the countries of Europe.

    I wonder what the punishment in Iran or Saudi Arabia is for killing the unborn or the old? Ohhh wait, it is probably a death sentence.

    Congrats to the Duke. I wonder what they will do if he refuses to promulgate the new “Law”. The Parliment is acting like the tyrant monarchs of old. “He is not doing what I want, Off with his head.” They probably even have a staples “That was easy button” on their desks.

  13. Corleone says:

    Matt – not to take this on too much of a side-track, but don’t get all “noble-savage” on us while thinking whistfully about how Mohammedan countries deal with issues such as these. Mohammedanism allows for abortion up to the first trimester (i.e. before “ensoulment” as in the Orthodox Jewish theological thought as well). ONE IN TEN pregnancies in the Middle East and North Africa ends in abortion. Iran (Shi’ite) has the most abortions per year, numbering in around 73,000 or 1 in four pregnancies.

    Not trying to pose a “we’re better than they are!” argument. Just saying we need to keep perspective and get the facts.

  14. English Catholic says:

    The next inevitable step is to threaten to fire doctors and nurses that refuse to murder unborn children or the sick. Pressure is already mounting for such measures here in north-west Europe. I feel more frightened than sad.

  15. “He in effected voted FOR LIFE – even though he knew that Parliment, in a pique of temper,
    would then limit his authority to sanction any laws.”

    Parliament couldn’t limit his authority without his permission for he was the sovereign monarch. When he refused to sign the bill the parliament decided it wanted to strip him from his powers. They could not have done that (constitutionally) had the Duke not given his assent. That was the compromise he reached with the government.

  16. prof. basto says:

    From the rite of benediction and coronation of Kings found in the extraordinary form Pontificale:

    (red)…Quibus sic sedentibus, postquam aliquantulum quieverint, Metropolitanus, coronandum Regem admonet, dicens:

    (black) Cum hodie per manus nostras, optime Princeps, qui Christi Salvatoris nostri vice in hac re fungimur (quamvis indigni) sacram unctionem, et Regni insignia sis suscepturus; bene est, ut te prius de onere, ad quod destinaris, moneamus. Regiam hodie suscipis dignitatem, et regendi fideles populos commissos curam sumis. Praeclarum sane inter mortales locum, sed discriminis, laboris, atque anxietatis plenum. Verum, si consideraveris, quod omnis potestas a Domino Deo est, per quem Reges regnant, et legum conditores justa decernunt; tu quoque de grege tibi commisso ipsi Deo rationem es redditurus. Primum, pietatem servabis, Dominum Deum tuum tota mente ac puro corde coles; Christianum religionem ac fidem Catholicam, quam ab incunabulis professus es, ad finem usque inviolatam retinebis, eamque contra omnes adversantes pro viribus defendes. Ecclesiarum Praelatis, ac reliquis Sacerdotibus condignam reverentiam exhibebis. Ecclesiasticam libertatem non conculcabis. Justitiam, sine qua nulla societas diu consistere potest, erga omnes inconcusse administrabis, bonis praemia, noxiis debitas poenas retribuendo. Viduas, pupillos, pauperes, ac debiles ab omni oppressione defendes . Omnibus te adeuntibus benignum, mansuetum, atque affabilem, pro regia tua dignitate te praebebis. Et ita te geres, ut non ad tuam, sed totius populi utilitatem regnare praemiumque benefactorum tuorum, non in terris, sed in caelo exspectare videaris. Quod ipse praestare dignetur, qui vivit et regnat Deus, in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.”

  17. Mike D. says:

    God bless Grand Duke Henri.

  18. Scott W. says:

    The next inevitable step is to threaten to fire doctors and nurses that refuse to murder unborn children or the sick. Pressure is already mounting for such measures here in north-west Europe. I feel more frightened than sad.

    Actually, over here in the rebel colonies, a Catholic Health care agency decided to acquiesce:

    Under the Commonwealth Family Health Plan system, abortions will not be performed at the Caritas Christi hospitals. But women who wish to procure abortions will be given a telephone number to call for information on where abortions are performed, and, if necessary, transportation to those sites.

    In other words, a neighbor knocks on your door and asks you to shoot his children. You say, “No. I cannot do that. But here is the number of a neighbor down the street who owns a gun and is willing to do it. Heck, let’s take my car.”

  19. Woody Jones says:

    I understand that the cause of King Baudoin (Baldwin) of Belgium is progressing. Interestingly enough, given other associations, it was none other than Cardinal Suenens who at the end of his own life was the big promoter of the cause of the King, who, along with Queen Fabiola, had been quite a devotee of Card. Suenens’ FIAT movement. The Cardinal even wrote a biography of the King, “King Baudoin, The Hidden Life”, available at:

    I have it and I find it very edifying.

    Adveniat Regum Tuum!

  20. Woody Jones says:

    That is, Adveniat Regnum Tuum!

  21. Alan F. says:

    Surely he’d have to pass the bill that limited his powers. Why would he do that?

    It says he now only promulgates tht law. What if he doesn’t do that?

  22. prof basto says:


    He sanctioned the bill that limited his powers because the elected representatives of the people voted to limit his powers, and he didn’t have an objection of conscience over that.

    He does have an objection of conscience over the issue of abortion.

    Probably, the Grand-Duke believes that it is up to the people of Luxembourg and their representatives to determine how much power he, the grand-duke, a constitutional monarch, should yeald, considering that he is an unelected head of state.

    So while the people and their representatives allowed him a choice over the sanction or refusal of assent to bills he exercised that power in conformity with his conscience. But on the wider issue of the people, by their representatives, wanting to limit his powers, he didn’t have an objection of conscience. He is not an absolute ruler, but a constitutional monarch: in a constitutional monarchy, the institution of the Crown exists only because the people want it and in the shape desired by the people. That’s what makes those countries democracies.

    Probably, given that Luxembourg is a democracy, the Grand-Duke only seldomly — or for practical purposes never exercised his right to an absolute veto that the Legislature cannot overcome. Thechincally, the Queen of the United Kingdom also posesses the same absolute power of refusing Royal Assent, but never uses it, so that it has never been used since 1707 (before the American Revolution). So, it is a big deal that the monarch announced that he would refuse his assent.

    “Promulgation” is different because “promulgation”, in the strict sense, is merely the announcement that a law has been enacted and is already a law.

  23. Brian in Wisconsin says:

    Does anyone know how to write to His Highness? I want to thank him and encourage him.

  24. Geoffrey says:

    Here is His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg’s mailing address:

    HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
    Schloß Fischbach

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