Spain Approves New Controversial Law Permitting Euthanasia

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Spain has approved a controversial new law permitting euthanasia. Euthanasia is when a doctor expedites the death of a patient to prevent further suffering. The word is derived from Greek, “Eu’ meaning good, and “Thanatos meaning death, together it means good death.  The vote passed the Spanish parliament’s lower house 202 to 140 on Thursday, March 18, 2021. This makes it the sixth country in the world, and the fourth in Europe to do so. The law will also stop the current potential jail time for people who assist others to end their life.

SpainThe bill was the result of a three-year legislative process that went through several rounds of revision in parliamentary committees and in the Senate. The law is expected to go into effect in June. Legislators from the left-wing governing coalition and other parties supported it, while far-right and conservative lawmakers voted “no” and vowed to overturn the legislation in the future.

“Today, a majority of parliament has borne witness to people who are ill who have been clamoring for years for this right,” Socialist Party MP Maria Luisa Carcedo said during the final debate. MP Carcedo cited the case of paralyzed Ramon Sampedro who recorded his assisted suicide in 1998. His story was later told in the movie “The Sea Inside” which went on to win an Oscar in 2004.

The law allows medical workers, whether in the public or private system, to refuse to participate on grounds of belief, and doctors are not required to participate. Protesters both in favor and against the new law gathered outside Madrid’s lower house building while lawmakers voted.

Written by Ebonee Stevenson

Edited by Sheena Robertson


CNN: Spain approves euthanasia law; by Al Goodman

Associated Press: Spain adopts euthanasia law despite conservative opposition

NCBI: Euthanasia: Right to Die with Dignity’; by Kalaivani Annadurai, Raja Danasekaran, and Geetha Mani

Featured Image Courtesy of Marc Majcher’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of Ian McWilliams’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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