Spain approves euthanasia law

View of the Chamber of the Congress of Deputies of Spain, during the euthanasia law approval session. Photo: Congress of Deputies.

By Hector Murcia

The Congress of Deputies of Spain approved today with 202 votes in favor, 141 against and two abstentions, the Organic Law regulating euthanasia.

As a historic day, the parliamentary groups that defended the approval of the law proposed by the PSOE have qualified, since it places Spain as the sixth country to legalize this practice, after Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia.

This law will come into force within three months and the person who wants to benefit from it must “suffer a serious and incurable disease or a serious illness, chronic and disabling ”that causes“ intolerable physical and psychological suffering ”.

With the approval of this law, euthanasia and assisted suicide will be regulated. The first is for a health professional to directly administer a substance to the patient so that they die, while assisted suicide refers to a health professional prescribing or supplying the patient with the substance so that he can self-administer to cause his own death.

Applicants must submit their request twice in writing and after two deliberative processes and if they meet the requirements, will be helped to die around 35 days after.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary groups that voted against, Popular Party and Vox, they warned that this can generate "a pull effect for the most vulnerable people", according to the popular José Ignacio Echaniz. While Lourdes Méndez, by Vox, has directly accused the proponents of "implanting the culture of disposal and death".