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Spain Adopts Euthanasia Law Despite Conservative Opposition

Lawmakers have voted to make Spain the sixth country in the world and the fourth in Europe to allow physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia

ABC NEWS

Lawmakers voted Thursday to make Spain the sixth country in the world, and the fourth in Europe, to allow physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for long-suffering patients with incurable diseases and for people with unbearable permanent conditions.

The Spanish parliament’s lower house voted 202-140 with two abstentions on the final passage of the euthanasia bill. Legislators from the left-wing governing coalition and other parties supported it, while conservative and far-right lawmakers voted “no” and vowed to overturn the legislation in the future.

Health Minister Carolina Darias hailed the passing of the bill as an important step “towards the recognition of human rights.”

“We are heading towards a more humane and fair society,” she told the Congress of Deputies.

The bill was the result of a lengthy legislative journey that began three years ago and underwent several rounds of revision in parliamentary committees and in the Senate. It is expected to go into effect in mid-June, when Spain’s public health system will need to provide life-ending assistance in justified cases.

READ MORE AT ABC NEWS

PHOTO CREDIT: Helen Harrop

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