Spanish Parliament passes euthanasia bill. Law may be challenged in Spain’s Constitutional Court

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On Thursday, Spain’s lower house of parliament passed the euthanasia bill with a vote of 202 to 141 with two abstentions.

The Vox party has stated that it will challenge the euthanasia law before Spain’s Constitutional Court.

“Politicians in Portugal have tried to pass a law similar to neighboring Spain’s, but the country’s Constitutional Court this week blocked the legislation, arguing that the bill was imprecise in identifying the circumstances under which life-ending procedures could occur,” the Associated Press reported.

Spain’s  lower house approved the bill even after the Spanish Bioethics Committee unanimously rejected the proposed bill in their October 6 report which stated:

The bill is invalid not only because it decriminalizes euthanasia as an exception to the general rule requiring life to be protected, but also because it recognizes death as a right that can be incorporated into the list of public health benefits, the committee noted.

The CBE pointed out that “a person’s desire for a third party or the state itself to end his life, directly or indirectly, in those cases of great physical and/or mental suffering, must always be viewed with compassion and met with effective compassionate action leading to the prevention of pain and a peaceful death.”

“Legalizing euthanasia and/or assisted suicide entails setting out on a path toward the devaluation of the protection of human life whose boundaries are very difficult to foresee, as the experience of our circumstances shows us.”

The committee stressed that “euthanasia and/or assisted suicide are not signs of progress but rather a regression of civilization, since in a context in which the value of human life is often conditioned by criteria of social utility, economic interests, family responsibilities and the burden to the public or public spending, the legalization of early death would add a new set of problems.”

Euthanasia is wrong because it permits the killing of people, nonetheless, the disability community in Spain needs to strongly speak up. This legislation threatens their lives.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.