Monday, October 25

Congress passes the first euthanasia law with a majority

An image of the Congress of Deputies.

An image of the Congress of Deputies.

The names of Ramón Sampedro, Ángel Hernández or Luis Montes and the words of freedom and expansion of rights have resounded this Thursday with force in the Plenary of Congress, where the bill presented by the PSOE has been approved to decriminalize and regulate the euthanasia. The rule will now go to the Senate, with the expectation that it will be finally approved around March. When that happens and takes effect, Spain will become one of the few countries in the world in which a medical team can help die a seriously ill person without fear of reprisals, as it will be another benefit of the National Health System.

As planned, the law will go ahead with the support of all groups, except PP and Vox. Ciudadanos, who in other laws joins the right, in this case stands in favor of “freedom” and of a law that “does not impose beliefs, but respects the beliefs of each one”, as defended by its leader, Inés Arrimadas, who has been “excited to participate in the debate” about a health regulation that “unites a majority of Spaniards.”

It has been a vibrant and passionate debate, with applause and boos, despite the fact that only the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has heard the interventions from the blue bench. Thus, there have been several deputies who have been proud to be able to defend their party’s position on a law that for many comes late, given that it has already been discussed 16 times in the Cortes, as Iñaki Ruiz, of Bildu.

Social advance

Today is a day to be deeply proud of being Spanish because it is synonymous with social advancement and freedom“, Íñigo Errejón (More Country) has stated.” This does not oblige anyone, those who do not agree leave with their rights unscathed but we grant rights to those who did not have it, this is freedom “, added Pilar Vallugera, from ERC , who has stressed that the regulations are not about a “law of death, it is a law of life, which allows you to live with the confidence that you will die as you want.”

On the contrary, the popular José Ignacio Echániz has accused the Government of approving the legislation with “nocturnal and treacherous acts”, in an “extraordinary plenary session convened in a hurry”, without the Council of State or the Bioethics Committee having been consulted, as it was promoted as a bill of the PSOE and not as legislation of the Executive. “This chamber is dealt with without a public hearing and without any social demand” because it is “an unfair, inopportune and unconstitutional law,” he added.

The PP defends that a law that regulates how to help die is not a necessary to the sick who cannot end their lives on their own, but to “universal palliative care where medicine seeks relief from pain.” That is why they have kept their amendments alive, which have been rejected by the pro-euthanasia majority.

And Vox has accused “the heirs of terrorism and the enemies of Spain” of pass a “ruthless and illegitimate” law, which represents “the greatest attack on people with disabilities.” The extreme right already advanced last week its intention to appeal the regulations to the Constitutional Court.

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