The proposed organic law to regulate euthanasia took this Thursday a further step in its parliamentary procedure after the Justice Commission voted one by one the articles of the law after amendments incorporated into the text by the coalition government parties and their partners.
With broad support and the only vote against the PP and Vox, the opinion of the project euthanasia law, will allow “help to die” to become a new benefit of the National Health System (SNS).
With 22 votes in favor and 14 against, the project presented by the socialist group and amended by the Commission will return to the plenary session of Congress, next week, and it must still go through the Senate, but its final approval is not in danger before the majority consensus.
With harsh interventions, the PP and Vox have crossed out the law as unconstitutional, but the rest of the spokesmen have defended it as necessary and guaranteed.
According to the project, deaths by euthanasia will be considered as “natural death” and will be retroactive, that is, it will be “exempt from penalty who is being investigated, or has been prosecuted or sentenced, for events that occurred prior to entry into force of the Organic Law for the Regulation of Euthanasia ».
Another of the controversial points is the lack of guarantees that the norm establishes so that the decision to die is really “free, voluntary and conscious.” The project proposes that practically any document is valid for a person to access euthanasia when he is not “in full use of his powers.” It will be enough that you have signed your request in advance in “the living will, advance directives or legally recognized equivalent documents.”
The requirements for submitting a request for euthanasia are also very lax. Both parties claim that when “the personal situation or health condition of the patient does not allow it”, the request can “be dated and signed” through “other means that allow him to record” or “by another fully capable person.” The only condition is that it be done “in the presence” of the person requesting euthanasia. This new right to die may also be administered “at the home” of the patient and not only in “public, subsidized and private hospitals.”
“Nightlife and treachery”
From the PP and Vox they have denounced a law that, in their opinion, establishes that there are some more dignified lives than others and they have disfigured the Government that intends to approve it with “nocturnal and treacherousness”, in the midst of a pandemic during which thousands of people they have died alone.
The PP deputy José Ignacio Echániz has criticized the fact that prevented the appearance before the Commission of the members of the Council of State and the Bioethics Committee contrary to the euthanasia law, which they consider “a setback for civilization.”
“With good palliative care, euthanasia runs out of clients, while without good palliative care the sufferer is pushed to euthanasia”, stressed this spokesman, whose party has defended an alternative text to generalize and extend such care.
In the same sense, the deputy of Vox Lourdes Méndez has criticized that the appearance of experts has been avoided and has warned of the “terrifying” consequences of a law that he has labeled “criminal” and that, in his opinion, he sends a message to vulnerable and disabled people that their lives are not worth it and that they will feel like “the whole system signals them” to ask for euthanasia.
“Is a eugenic law made up of bonhomie », has affirmed Méndez, who has opined that with this norm it will be the Government that decides “which lives are worthless and are not worth living” and has announced that they will appeal it if it is approved.
Visibly angry the former Minister of Health María Luisa Carcedo and Socialist spokesperson He has accused both of resorting to “cheap demagogies”, he recalled that the citizens mostly support euthanasia and has specifically denounced the “cynicism” of the PP, recalling the “cuts” that he applied in the dependency system.
The project is based on the patient autonomy law, since it will be he who decides, and not the doctors or the politicians, Carcedo insisted, who has stressed the need to help those who suffer from an unsolvable condition and want to end it. “I really hope, from my heart, that neither you nor your environment have to use this law,” the PP and Vox told the deputies.
The PNV spokesman, Joseba Andoni Agirretxea, has also defended palliative care, but has considered it a “fallacy” to believe that replace euthanasia, because they can alleviate suffering only up to a point. «You have to legislate beyond your own beliefs, all of them respectable (…). Legislation is needed for all, “he said.