This article deals with the new Euthanasia Decriminalization Act that comes into force on June 25, 2021. It consists of 4 sections: the first are concepts and definitions of what euthanasia means, sedation, dignified death and limitation of treatment among others. The second tries to explain what the law says, what requirements must be met and how to proceed with a request for euthanasia. The third section is a collection of reflections on the law, both in terms of procedure and the different positions taken by various scientific and bioethical societies, both in Catalonia and in Spain. The fourth and final section are brief personal reflections based on my training and experience. I think it’s an article that can clarify concepts and help start a process of personal reflection on a topic as complex as death is.
Euthanasia, dignified death, palliative sedation, quality of life, autonomy.
[Automatic translation from Catalan]:
3. Reflections around law
1. On the Procedure of the Law (19, 6)
This Act does not legalize euthanasia, but decriminalizes it. It means that it is not removed from the penal code, but persists in the penal code, but no penalty is applied if the requirements laid down in the law are met.
This is the first law of euthanasia in which a permit must be obtained to apply it. This is what is called control Ex Ante. In other countries where euthanasia is regulated, health professionals exercise the law of euthanasia and then review if there is any error in the procedure: control Ex Post.
In the Spanish State, the Act is a guarantor, ensuring that the requirements are fulfilled before giving the green light to the procedure. This is a good thing because it gives a great deal of certainty that it will be done well, but it makes the procedure very bureaucratic, and it is considered that many patients who are in a terminal illness probably do not get permission for temporary reasons.
2. Positioning of the Committee of Bioethics of Spain (CBE) (18)
The law procedure has not requested any report in […]
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