On 20 December 2018, Spanish Congress MPs adopted the final text of the Muerte Digna law on “death with dignity”. While the law officially aims to harmonise palliative care between the different Spanish regions, for Marta Sorlí, a member of the Compromís party, this law is above all “a step towards the decriminalisation of euthanasia”. The same can be said for the Ciudadanos party, which believes that as soon as the Muerte Digna law is definitively approved, “it will be high time to discuss and get to work” on the euthanasia law. Joan Olóriz Serra, from the ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) and Amparo Botejara, from Podemos, both believe that the subject of euthanasia will be addressed from February 2019.
The Muerte Digna law includes:
- Equal access to quality palliative care in all regions of Spain,
- The right to know one’s state of health to be able to prepare a “living will” if necessary,
- The right to terminal sedation to stop suffering,
- The option to refuse treatment,
- The prevalence of the patient’s will over that of the doctor,
- The “right to say goodbye in complete privacy” and not “in a room with three beds”,
- The right to “spiritual and religious assistance”.