New euthanasia debate in Spain


Spain’s Congress of Deputies is debating new euthanasia legislation, as right-to-die lobbyists intensify their campaign in the country.

Unidos Podemos (UP), a political coalition of the the Communist Party and the major party Podemos, presented a bill to Congress in mid-January that would permit assisted dying under certain circumstances.

The Unidos Podemos bill proposes that terminally ill patients over the age of 18, and also adults suffering from “unbearable” psychological or physiological pain, be allowed to access medical assistance in dying.

There is also another bill shortly to be registered in Congress by representatives from Catalonia’s regional parliament. Late last month the Catalonian parliament resolved to move a federal bill -- similar to the UP proposal -- that would modify the federal penal code to permit medical assistance in dying.

“Human freedom lasts until the end of life,” said Isabel Alonso, the president of the Right to a Dignified Death Association, which is behind the Catalonian motion.

Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP) has traditionally opposed euthanasia, though commentators are calling on PP to have an ‘open mind’ in the new debate.




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