Bioethics Committee Opposed to Euthanasia Bill in Spain

On 30 September 2020, the Spanish Bioethics Committee issued a report contesting the bill on euthanasia.

The bioethics committee does not regard euthanasia as a right. Quite the opposite. The committee insists on improving patients’ quality of life and advocates further development of palliative care. It recommends intensifying the fight against pain and improving the guidelines for sedating patients with unbearable suffering.

Neither does the bioethics committee consider euthanasia to be a sign of progress.

On the contrary, if the value of human life is measured according to criteria such as one’s usefulness to society, economic interests, being a burden to the family or to public finances, the committee believes this constitutes a hallmark of civilization’s decline.

The bioethics’ report warns that patients might request euthanasia if they are convinced of having no other option, and if government officials endorse it as a means of reducing healthcare costs.

The day after the committee issued its’ report against euthanasia, 160 lawyers also called for the government to abandon the bill which violates human dignity as well as most of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Indeed, such a bill to legalize euthanasia would violate several articles in the Spanish constitution which protects the dignity of every individual and his inalienable rights to equality and non-discrimination, to the protection of his life and health, including when he becomes vulnerable, and especially when he suffers physical, sensory and psychological impairment, or when he reaches an advanced age.

Legalizing euthanasia poses a serious threat to sick and elderly individuals.

The COVID pandemic and the subsequent gruesome discoveries in Spanish nursing homes highlighted how desperately we need a genuinely caring society, which doesn’t leave anyone behind, however vulnerable, and which establishes fraternal bonds.

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