Spain legalized euthanasia on Thursday for persons who are gravely ill or ill with an incurable disease. The bill was approved with 202 votes for and 141 against.
Gravely ill is defined as someone who is affected by their illness to the degree that it affects their physical or mental capacities to the point that it is intolerable. Incurable disease is defined as a disease that is intolerable without cure and which gets progressively worse as time goes on.
The new law allows people who meet the above qualifications to request assistance to die. They must come to the decision to die autonomously. They must submit their request in writing with a full medical history and must be Spanish citizens or legal residents. These requests must be approved by the commission in charge. If the doctor in charge of the patient has a contentious objection, the file may be taken to another doctor to perform the procedure.
“Today we are a more humane, just and freer country,” Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a tweet. “The euthanasia law, widely demanded by society, finally becomes a reality. Thanks to all the people who have fought tirelessly so that the right to die with dignity was recognized in Spain.”
The move makes Spain the fourth country in the EU that has legalized euthanasia.