Spanish lawmakers this week advanced a bill to allow assisted suicide in the country, completing an important step to make Spain one of a handful of countries in the world to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives. Choose to do.
The draft law the MPs voted on was first presented in February and seems to remove an aspect of the Spanish Criminal Code that prevents any sick person from assisting in the death.
According to The New York Times, the law passed the lower chamber of Spain’s parliament by 198–138 votes and now heads the Senate from which it is expected to pass.
The law will allow a patient to choose between euthanasia by a health care professional or assisted suicide, which they can do at their home by taking medications prescribed to themselves that will end their lives.
Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland already have laws legalizing assisted suicide, while many states in the US include provisions for sick patients.
Assisted suicide is hotly contested around the world, including in Spain, where protesters in Madrid protested the law by beating funeral drums in Madrid this week.