By: Isha Sesay
By: Isha Sesay
SPAIN has moved one step closer to regulating euthanasia for individuals with serious, incurable or incapacitating diseases as the Congress of Deputies agreed to consider the initiative.
Introduced by the Socialist Party (PSOE) led by PM Pedro Sanchez, the bill will now enter a period of amendments before it will be negotiated by the congressional Health Committee.
With 201 votes in favour and 140 against (from the conservative Popular Party (PP) and the far-right Vox), this is the third time that the bill has been taken into consideration by the Spanish parliament with Health Minister Salvador Illa stating his confidence that it will secure its final passage by June of this year.
In a highly emotional debate, Socialist lawmaker and former Health Minister María Luisa Carcedo quoted Fernando Cuesta, a Spaniard with Lou Gehrig’s disease who recently travelled to Switzerland to end her life.
Reading “let whoever wants to live, live, but let the rest of us die with dignity” Cuesta acknowledged all individuals who have fought so hard to ensure that others may benefit from the right to die.
Under the new bill, this right will be recognised for those who have a serious, incurable or incapacitating disease that causes unbearable suffering. Those who want to be euthanised have to request it themselves, however doctors will retain the right to conscientious objection.
Figures released from the Centre for Sociology Studies (CIS) indicate that a majority of the population are in favour of regulating euthanasia and assisted suicide. A recent poll showed 58% people were in favour of the practice. Rafael Serrano del Rosal, the Director of the Institute for Advanced Social Studies-CSIC, stated that “support has been clear and consistent for over a decade.”