Spain’s socialist government is proposing a new controversial euthanasia bill, which will make it legal for terminally ill patients to take their own lives.
Under the proposed bill, euthanasia would be an option via both public and private healthcare, although doctors would have the option to abstain as ‘conscientious objectors’. There would also need to be changes made to the current Spanish law, which dictates that physician-assisted suicide is a crime.
In June this year, Spain’s PSOE party proposed a bill which was in favour of euthanasia, but of which was subsequently blocked by the the PP (Partido Popular) party. However, the PP party has now agreed to unblock opposition to the bill so that euthanasia can be debated further by congress.
It is believed that PP leader Pablo Casado will use the debate to put forth his parties opposition to the PSOE bill along with Ciudadanos and propose their own alternatives, which are based on a dignified death and palliative care.
The PSOE bill views euthanasia as the right of an individual to take their own life if they are suffering from a “serious and incurable disease with a limited life prognosis,” or a “serious, chronic and irreversible disability that causes them unbearable suffering.”
The vast majority of the political parties in congress are in favour of the regulation of euthanasia including PSOE, Podemos, the Basque Nationalist Party, the Catalan Republican Left and the Democratic Party of Catalonia with a total of 178 seats.
Congress will debate the bill again on the 25th of October and will need over 176 votes to push the bill through into organic law.