The Spanish Parliament approved this Thursday, definitively, the legalization of euthanasia. Thus, Spain is the fifth country in the world to recognize the “right to a dignified death”. As the Spanish press advances, the organic law that regulates euthanasia was passed with an absolute majority.
It had 202 votes in favor, 141 against, and two abstentions, and will come into force within three months. The regulation incorporated some amendments by the PSOE (socialists) and government partners during its second reading.
According to the text of the project, adults who “suffer from a serious and incurable disease” or a “serious, chronic and incapacitating condition”, which causes “intolerable physical or psychological suffering” without the possibility of cure or improvement, can request medical aid to die, a benefit that will be included in the Spanish National Health System.
The law regulates both euthanasia itself – “the direct administration of a substance to the patient by the competent health professional” – and what is called medically assisted suicide – “the prescription or supply to the patient by the health professional of a substance, so that the patient can administer it to himself, to cause his own death ”.
The law also provides for the right of doctors to conscientious objection and establishes the creation of a Guarantee and Evaluation Committee in each Spanish autonomous community composed of doctors and lawyers to monitor each case.
Spain thus becomes the fifth country to approve euthanasia, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada. In New Zealand, the law is expected to go into effect in November.
The measure then allows “people seriously ill or with incurable diseases” to end their lives.