December 202 – Madrid: Spain is on the brink of legalising euthanasia after a parliamentary vote that has riled right-wingers and the Catholic Church.
A bill backed by the leftwing coalition government and several other parties was passed by 198 votes to 138. The main opposition conservative Popular Party and the ultranationalist Vox party opposed it.
It is intended for patients with incurable diseases or unbearable permanent conditions . Patients must ask to die on four occasions. The first two requests must be in writing and two weeks apart. The patient would have to reaffirm that request a third time after consulting a doctor and a fourth time just before the procedure to end their life.
The legislation is expected to be passed by the Senate, Spain’s upper house, and will come into effect early next year. Spain would join The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg , Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland in allowing euthanasia.
Portugal’s parliament approved similar bills to legalise doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia in February 2021.