Spain debates euthanasia

The Spanish Congress has agreed to consider a bill in favour of an individual's right to euthanasia. Under current legislation both assisted suicide and active euthanasia are punishable with up to six years in prison. What views does the Spanish press take of the decision?

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El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

A moral necessity today

For El Periódico de Catalunya the advances in modern medicine make legal provisions for assisted suicide imperative:

“Technological and medical advances are prolonging lives, but not always ensuring the necessary minimum of dignity. The prospect of prolonged and painful suffering without any hope of relief, of feeling imprisoned in a body that is no longer under control is a deep fear shared by the majority of the public. If humankind has acquired the ability to challenge death it must also be within our power to control this ability. Provided this control is regulated by the law, voluntary, informed and supported by health professionals with all the ethical guarantees.”

ABC (ES) /

Lack of solidary with the old and the sick

The claims that this legislation is necessary to protect human rights are hypocritical, warns ABC in contrast:

“Once a law opens the door to death, it is hard to close it again. We have seen this with abortion. And the options envisaged by the law are soon eclipsed by unrestricted practical application. Many ill and sick people will feel pressured by a law that defines them as a burden from which the family and the health system need to free themselves. ... The current legislation moves towards a system that proclaims new human rights but is really driven by a lack of solidarity with those who are just in the way.”