“Information and transparency are essential for the debate on euthanasia”

Rosana Triviño, David Rodríguez Arias (FiloLab), Jon Rueda (FiloLab) and Miguel Melguizo (ESPACyOS network) collaborated with The Conversation addressing the current debate on the Spanish Euthanasia Law. A fundamental discussion on rights, transparency and public data access which clearly has ethical consequences in the field of medicine.

In a context of political tension, ideological polarisation and pandemic, the Spanish Organic Law on the Regulation of Euthanasia has once again put the spotlight on medically assisted death. The main new element is the legalisation of euthanasia (the administration of a lethal substance by a healthcare professional to a person who has requested medically assisted death) and medically assisted suicide (providing a person who wishes to die with a lethal substance that can be self-administered).

In order to use this service, the law stablished several conditions: patients must request it freely and repeatedly, while being in full possession of their mental faculties, after having received enough information and having discussed treatment and palliative care alternatives.

Moreover, the law provides for a series of guarantees so that each case is performed under medical control and supervision and so that practitioners as well as other healthcare professionals who are directly involved in the procedure can conscientiously object to doing it.

Thus, Spain joins the growing list of countries which have taken similar legal steps: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia have decriminalised euthanasia or medically assisted suicide while Switzerland, several US states and the State of Victoria (Australia) have legalised assisted suicide”.

Read the full article in The Conversation

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