Spain will join the very small number of countries that allow two modalities of the “right to die”: the euthanasia and assisted suicide. Until now it was only like this in Belgium and Holland. The rest of the countries have one or the other legalized. In Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia, euthanasia is legal and assisted suicide is decriminalized in Switzerland, Germany, Japan and some US states (Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, Montana and California) and one in Australia.
The debate this morning in Congress was vehement and with continuous memories of icons in the defense of euthanasia in Spain such as Ramón Sampedro. Also mentioned was doctor Luis Montes, of the Right to Die with Dignity Association, or Angel Hernandez, who helped his wife, María José Carrasco, die with very advanced multiple sclerosis.
Express: legal euthanasia from May
After the green light granted this Thursday by Congress, the bill will now go to the Senate and es may no longer return to the lower house, since the articles of the norm have already incorporated amendments from almost all parliamentary groups. If so, the proposal will go directly from the Senate to the BOE (Official State Gazette) and will enter into force three months later of its publication. This means that euthanasia could be legal in Spain from May. In the event of incorporating an amendment and returning to Congress, its legalization would have to wait until June.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide will not only be available in the National Health System for the “terminally ill or incurable.” The disability or one psychiatric illness it will also be a reason to to be able to request the benefit of dying aid, since the law recognizes that right to those people who suffer “a chronic and disabling condition” or “a serious and incurable disease causing intolerable physical or mental suffering.”
One year of registration and at home
Among the requirements to be able to access euthanasia it is pointed out that one year of registration will suffice. The “provision of the right to die” may be made at “home” opening the door at residences and health centers in case the person has been admitted continuously. In addition to the SNS centers, it can also be performed in private hospitals.
The doctor may submit the request
The law does not consider euthanasia interruption of ordinary means of maintaining life and the welfare of the patient, or the non-adoption of the same.
The period of time between the application and the receipt of the benefit will be very short. With the PSOE law, euthanasia will be applied with a maximum time of 32 days.
In those cases in which the patient “Is not in full use of its powers”, will be the doctor who may submit the request for euthanasia through “the living will or a legally equivalent document»Previously signed by the patient.
The death produced derived from the provision of aid to die «will have the legal consideration of natural death to all effects”.
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