Spanish government would entertain proposals for Euthanasia

The Spanish Justice Minister, Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, said Tuesday that there is currently no bill on the agenda to legalize euthanasia in Spain and that the government is not committed to bringing one forward, although he acknowledged that if such a bill is sponsored, the government will be required “to respond to it.”

Aguilar said the government is not encouraging debate on euthanasia, rather it is simply allowing the issue “to take its natural and spontaneous course in a free society.” He said the government would participate in a debate and that if a bill was to be put forward, the government “would have to respond to it.” 

Aguilar said that after having seen the Spanish film “Mar adentro,” “now is not the time to announce a legislative initiative, but rather to applaud a pure and sober work of cinema that shakes one’s conscience and forces one to think.”

Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar, an self-proclaimed homosexual and admirer of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, recently released “Mar adentro,” a film about the story of Ramon Sampedro, a paralyzed man who wanted to end his life through euthanasia and, after he was unable to legally do so, finally died with the help of friends.

Aguilar said, “The movie invites you to think about life as a right and not an obligation and about the right to live life with dignity, completely respecting the freedom of each person,” without “adopting norms that are imposed on everyone in general or that modify legislation.”

On the other hand, Aguilar said the government’s review of divorce laws is close to being finished and will be approved this month.  The issue is a “priority” for the government, he said, because there is a public demand to simplify the judicial procedures for divorce.

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