Spain has recently taken an important step towards legalizing euthanasia. His parliament has spoken out in favor of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide for patients suffering from long-lasting ailments and having no hope of recovery.
On December 17, the Spanish room adopted by a large majority (198 votes against 138) the bill legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide, distinguished according to whether the lethal product is administered by the medical profession or ingested by the patient himself. This concerns people suffering from diseases ” serious and incurable “, or ” disabling and permanent conditions ” at the beginning of ” intolerable suffering for the patient “.
Supported by the two member parties of the government coalition (socialist party and Podemos, radical left), the center-right party Ciudadanos, and approved by 90% of Spaniards according to a survey carried out in 2019, the proposal will soon be examined by the Senate and could be enacted in spring 2021.
” As a society, we cannot remain unmoved in the face of the intolerable pain that so many people suffer. », Declared in particular Salvador Illa, Spanish Minister of Health, after the vote.
Currently, assisted suicide and euthanasia are punishable by two to ten years in prison in Spain, and the bill has met opposition from the Conservative Popular Party and the far-right party. Vox. While a few people had gathered in front of the Parliament of Madrid to protest against the legalization of euthanasia, several rallies were organized in different cities of the country in order to welcome its approval by the Spanish deputies.
Four successive requests necessary
Having to be made in writing by an adult patient, citizen or resident of Spain and capable of making rational decisions, the request must be reaffirmed four times. For this to be validated, it must be successively accepted by two doctors, then examined by a committee.
Euthanasia can be performed in a public, private or home health establishment. Provided that they have previously mentioned their will in a living will, patients may be represented by a previously designated third party in the event of physical incapacity. The cost of the procedure will be borne by the spanish social security.
The law also provides that any person working in the health sector can refuse to participate in the procedure for reasons of belief, in a country where theCatholic Church, firmly opposed to euthanasia, has a major moral influence.