Spain’s lower house approves bill to allow euthanasia

Madrid, Dec 18 : The Spanish Congress of Deputies or the lower chamber of Parliament approved a bill to legalise euthanasia.

The bill, allowing euthanasia in “a context of a chronic and disabling condition or serious illness or incurable, causing intolerable suffering”, passed on Thursday with 198 votes in favour, 138 against and two abstentions, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the bill, in order to be able to request euthanasia, a person needs “Spanish nationality or legal residence in Spain or registration certificate that proves a time of stay in Spanish territory more than 12 months, be of legal age and be capable and aware” of what they are doing.

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People who want to end their lives will have to request euthanasia twice in writing, with 15 days between requests, while making it clear they are not subject to external pressure.

The application and authorisation process is expected to take around 40 days.

When the permission is received, “the provision of aid to die will be carried out in a public, private or subsidized health centre or at the applicant’s home”.

Defending the bill in Congress, Health Minister Salvador Illa said that “as a society, we cannot remain impassive in the face of the intolerable suffering suffered by many people; Spain is a democratic society that is mature enough to face this issue”.

As of December 2020, active human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Western Australia, Spain and Canada.

Meanwhile, assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, the Australian state of Victoria and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, California, and in the District of Columbia.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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