Henrik Stubkjær, Bishop Viborg

The House of Bishops of the Church of Denmark have urged their government to block legislation permitting euthanasia. Meeting in Viborg on 28 October 2023, the bishops released a statement saying “the legalization of euthanasia will lead to a betrayal of both human and social views.” 

“Society should not be able to take the lives of citizens,” the bishops said.

Their statement follows a report from the state Ethics Council, where sixteen of seventeen members held “there is too much at stake regarding our basic view of humanity for euthanasia to be introduced in Denmark.” 

In June 2023, the Parliament’s Health Committee asked the Ethics Council to give their opinion on euthanasia after a national petition brought the question before parliament.

The majority held that it was not possible to craft laws to regulate euthanasia and at the same time “protect the lives and respect of those who are most vulnerable in society”.

“Euthanasia risks causing unacceptable changes to basic norms for society, the health care system and human outlook.

“The very existence of an offer of euthanasia will decisively change our ideas about old age, the coming of death, quality of life and what it means to take others into account.

“If euthanasia becomes an option, there is too great a risk that it will become an expectation aimed at special groups in society.”