Once upon a time, Spain not only conquered the world, but Christianized many people with extensive and terrifying challenges to overcome, such as the Aztecs with their history of human sacrifice. But Five centuries later, much has changed in Spain, and not only is the Faith scarcely practiced any more, but many times it is directly opposed. According to a story from the AP, just in time for Christmas, Spain’s Parliament has legalized euthanasia.
Spain’s parliament voted Thursday to approve a bill that will allow physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for long-suffering patients of incurable diseases or unbearable permanent conditions.
The bill, which was backed by Spain’s left-wing coalition government and several other parties, passed in a 198-138 vote. The conservative Popular Party and the far-right Vox party voted “No.”
The bill will now continue its legislative journey, facing a vote in the Senate where it is also expected to pass. According to the draft of the law approved by the lower house, it won’t go into effect until three months after being published in the government gazette.
“As a society, we cannot remain impassive when faced with the intolerable pain that many people suffer,” Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa told lawmakers.
Spain is following the footsteps of Iberian Peninsula neighbor Portugal, whose parliament approved similar bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in February. Those bills have yet to become law and could yet face resistance from Portugal’s president.
Euthanasia — when a doctor directly administers fatal drugs to a patient — is legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. In some U.S. states, medically-assisted suicide — where patients administer the lethal drug themselves, under medical supervision — is permitted.
A small group of people gathered outside Madrid’s lower house of parliament waving black flags with skulls and crossbones to protest the bill. Groups that support legislation to legalize medically assisted suicide planned rallies in cities across the country to celebrate the passing of the bill.
The law will allow health professionals, both public and private, to assist patients who express their wish to die rather than continue suffering “a serious and incurable disease” or from a “debilitating and chronic condition” the person considers “unbearable.”
Patients must ask to die on four different occasions during the process, which can last over a month. The first two requests must be in writing and submitted over two weeks apart. The patient must reaffirm that request a third time after consulting with a doctor and a fourth time just before undergoing the procedure to end his or her life. (source)
Merry Christmas 2020, and here is to the next the years, where the trends toward violence and war will only seem to accelerate until perhaps the turn into something terrible- a world war on a scale that has never been seen before in history.