Spanish lawmakers this week advanced a bill to allow assisted suicide in the country, completing a crucial step in making Spain one of a handful of countries in the world to allow terminally ill patients to choose to end their lives.
The draft law the lawmakers voted on was first presented in February and looks to remove an aspect of the Spanish criminal code that prohibits anyone from aiding in the death of a terminally ill person.
The law passed the lower chamber of Spain’s parliament by a 198-138 vote and now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass.
This will allow a patient to choose between being euthanized by a health care professional or assisted suicide, which they could do themselves at their home by taking a prescribed medication that would end their life.
Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland already have laws legalizing assisted suicide, while several states in the U.S. include provisions for terminally ill patients.
Assisted suicide remains hotly contested around the world, including in Spain, where protesters gathered in Madrid this week to oppose the law by beating funeral drums.
Meanwhile, British ex-pats on Spain’s Costa del Sol feel the demonstrators are wrong and that it’s a great move by their adopted home, William Ratcliffe is one of those supporters of the new law to be, he said: “It should be legal worldwide, It’s something I fully support after watching my wife die of cancer here in Spain, she suffered badly and if she dad been a dog she would have been put to sleep by the vet, it should be the same for humans, everyone should have the right to die”
” Yes = look at all the terrible suicides in this so-called modern world, sadly people who can’t cope have to go to extreme measures to kill themselves, whilst I don’t think it will be an open policy to death, just based on medical grounds, I have thought for a long time it should be available to everyone,” said Wendy Griffin in Spain’s Fuengirola.
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