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Euthanasia will be legal in Spain in three months, subject to stringent procedures and criteria
19 March 2021 @ 08:40

SPAIN has become the sixth country on earth to legalise the right to euthanasia for patients in extreme, constant and incurable pain with no possible relief, subject to a series of strict criteria aimed at preventing abuse, coercion or malpractice.

It was passed in Parliament today (Thursday) with 202 votes in favour, 141 against – the whole of the right-wing PP party and far-right Vox – and two MPs abstaining.

After the notice is published in the State Official Bulletin (BOE), the law will come into effect at three calendar months of the date of its printing.

Other than Spain, only Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and New Zealand allow a person to choose to die if their condition 'meets the requisites'.

The process involves several stages and at least two weeks, as well as express consent on the part of the patient, in order to prevent rash decisions and ensure that it is the only available alternative to intolerable pain and incapacity.

Patients must be either Spanish citizens, or legally resident in Spain for at least the past 12 months – a move designed to avoid 'euthanasia tourism' which could lead to fraught international relations or patients relying on doctors not knowing enough about their history to give them clearance, when an ending by choice is not the only possible relief.

The patient must have a clear diagnosis of an 'incurable and serious illness' which is 'incapacitating and chronic', or permanent, which causes 'intolerable suffering' with no possibility of relief from said suffering.

This indicates that even if an illness is incurable, terminal or both, where the pain and extreme discomfort can be controlled medically, the patient will not be granted permission. 

Patients are required to have 'full written information about their medical process and condition' and the 'different alternatives and possibilities', including palliative care options.

Firstly, the patient will have to expressly request the process on two occasions, 15 days apart, after which, within a maximum of 48 hours, his or her doctor will have to decide whether the patient meets the requisites and provide him or her, verbally and in writing, complete information about the 'diagnosis, possible treatments or therapies and expected results therefrom, and palliative care options'.

After this conversation, the patient will be asked again, 24 hours later, whether he or she still wants to go ahead with the request.

Where the answer is in the affirmative, a second doctor, independent of the first medic, will also be required to examine the case and ensure the patient satisfies the legal requirements, with a deadline for this procedure of 10 days.

If the second doctor also gives his or her agreement, the case will be notified to the Evaluation and Control Commission, which will nominate two independent persons to prepare reports that will serve as a guide to it to decide, finally, whether the conditions in place allow the patient's wish to be honoured.

None of this means the patient needs 'permission from a doctor', but those medical professionals called upon to intervene in the process have a duty to evaluate whether the person fulfils the criteria established by the law, including whether he or she does, in fact, suffer from a serious, incurable, permanent and incapacitating illness which means the conditions of the patient's life are intolerable.



Like 2


jamiemalone said:
19 March 2021 @ 11:55

Another way of this communist government to get rid of the sick and elderly. SHAME ON YOU YET AGAIN SANCHEZ.

gerrynag said:
20 March 2021 @ 12:07

This measure must be a great relief to people suffering terrible pain, with no way of relieving it. Sensible, compassion law, which appears to have a lot of safeguards to prevent it being mis-used.

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