Spain’s new law permits hospitals to hasten the death of terminally ill patients

Mail.com:  The Spanish government,  passed into law the right to have an early death for terminally ill patients last Friday. The patients will be able to halt their medical treatment and thereby hasten their death.

The Spanish health minister, Leire Pajin, was quick to point out that the law had nothing to do with the government’s public spending austerity program and that it would not contradict the strict ban on euthanasia or assisted suicide, which criminalises procedures that kill those who are not terminally ill.

As in the UK and most European countries, stopping medical treatment for terminally ill patients is widely practiced, though not officially sanctioned.

Human rights advocates are concerned that the explicit permission by law for medics to kill terminally ill people raises two questions:-

1) Will there be adequate provisions in place to ensure a safe determination of what constitutes a ‘terminally ill’ person?

2) What procedures will be in place to safeguard those who are very ill and whose treatment is expensive upon the state, to be bullied into ending their lives as ‘terminally ill’ patients for the convenience of others.

The law is set to be approved in Parliament is the next few months.


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