Madrid, Spain, Feb 12, 2020 / 15:01 pm
After Spain's socialist party tried and failed twice last year to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, the lower house of the country's parliament has now voted to consider a bill that would legalize the practices in certain circumstances.
According to Spanish newspaper El País, the bill was approved for consideration in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies by 201 votes to 140, with two abstaining. It now goes through additional steps of consideration in a committee and by the Senate before a final vote.
If passed, the law would permit euthanasia or assisted suicide in cases of "clearly debilitating diseases without a cure, without a solution and which cause significant suffering," government spokesperson Maria Jesus Montero told Reuters.
Voluntary euthanasia occurs when a doctor kills a patient at the patient's request. Assisted suicide is the prescribing of a lethal dose of drugs by a doctor to a patient, who then administers the drugs themselves. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are currently legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, Colombia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the Australian state of Victoria, while Switzerland and some U.S. states allow assisted suicide.