Sunday, December 20, 2020

Spain's lower house approves euthanasia bill. Spain's Senate will now debate the bill.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coaliton

Spain's lower house passed the euthanasia bill by a vote of 198 to 138 (2 abstained) on Thursday December 17. According to Spain's parliamentary news  (google translated):
The Plenary of Congress approved today, Thursday, December 17, the Organic Law Proposal to regulate euthanasia with 198 votes in favor, 138 against and 2 abstentions in a joint vote as required by Article 81 of the Constitution and 131 of the Congress Regulations, which also establishes the necessary absolute majority for its approval and thus continue its processing in the Senate.

Likewise, the opinion sent by the Justice Commission has been approved with the incorporation of the technical corrections of the Socialist and Confederal GPs of Unidos Podemos-En Comú Podem-Galicia en Común approved in plenary session, with 198 votes in favor, 138 against and 2 abstentions.

This Organic Law Proposition, promoted by the Socialist Parliamentary Group, introduces euthanasia as a new individual right into the legal system, understood as "the action that produces the death of a person directly and intentionally through a single cause-effect relationship. and immediate, at the informed, express and reiterated request of said person over time, and which is carried out in a context of suffering due to an incurable disease or condition that the person experiences as unacceptable and that has not been able to be mitigated by others media".
Spanish euthanasia protest
The Spanish El Pais reports that the bill approves euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The text of the bill talks about “serious, chronic and debilitating conditions or serious, incurable diseases causing intolerable suffering” as valid causes for requesting life-ending assistance. While the document does not use the term “assisted suicide,” it contemplates “the direct administration to a patient of a substance by the relevant healthcare professional,” in other words euthanasia, or “supplying a patient with a substance that can be self-administered to cause death,” meaning medically assisted suicide. The procedure may be carried out at public or private health centers, or at the patient’s home, according to the bill.
The lower house approved the bill even after the Spanish Bioethics Committee unanimously rejected the proposed bill in their October 6 report:
The bill is invalid not only because it decriminalizes euthanasia as an exception to the general rule requiring life to be protected, but also because it recognizes death as a right that can be incorporated into the list of public health benefits, the committee noted.

The CBE pointed out that “a person’s desire for a third party or the state itself to end his life, directly or indirectly, in those cases of great physical and/or mental suffering, must always be viewed with compassion and met with effective compassionate action leading to the prevention of pain and a peaceful death.”

"Legalizing euthanasia and/or assisted suicide entails setting out on a path toward the devaluation of the protection of human life whose boundaries are very difficult to foresee, as the experience of our circumstances shows us.”

The committee stressed that “euthanasia and/or assisted suicide are not signs of progress but rather a regression of civilization, since in a context in which the value of human life is often conditioned by criteria of social utility, economic interests, family responsibilities and the burden to the public or public spending, the legalization of early death would add a new set of problems.”
Euthanasia is wrong because it permits the killing of people, nonetheless, the disability community in Spain needs to strongly speak up. This legislation threatens their lives.

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