News from Europe

Spain legalises euthanasia and assisted suicide

Christian Today reports that Spain has become the fourth country in the European Union to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide. Lawmakers passed legislation on Thursday to permit euthanasia and assisted suicide for people who "suffer a serious or incurable disease or a serious or chronic condition" such that it causes them "unbearable suffering".

“Today is an important day: we are heading towards the recognition of human rights. We are heading towards a more humane and fair society,” Health Minister Carolina Darias said in parliament. 

“Today we are a more human, fairer and freer country,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted on Thursday. The Bill was in turn strongly opposed by the Spanish Catholic Church, which likened euthanasia to “a form of homicide”. The right-wing Vox party, which voted against the legislation, said it would launch an appeal in the Constitutional Court.

The legislation passed by 202 votes to 141, with two abstentions, and is due to come into effect in three months. A similar law is due to come into force in New Zealand in November.

The Spanish law extends only to adults that are legaly resident in the country, unlike Belgium which has the most relaxed euthanasia laws in the world, permitting terminally ill children in “unbearable suffering” to be killed.


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