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World News

"Suffering has a solution. Death has no solution": Spanish Catholics react as Spain moves closer to legalising euthanasia

by Kelly Valencia

The Spanish Episcopal Conference, the highest Catholic entity in Spain, has said that it is a moment of "sadness" in Spain as the country moves towards to legalising euthanasia. 

On 17th December, the Spanish parliament approved a bill that will allow medically-assisted dying for patients of incurable diseases or those in unbearable permanent circumstances.

Maria Garcia, spokesperson for the Spanish Episcopal Conference told Premier "euthanasia doesn't solve the problem".

"It´s a difficult moment in all the world. What's necessary is helping to live, not helping to die. It is clear that euthanasia does not end the suffering of the person, it ends with the person itself. Suffering has a solution. Death has no solution."

Activists had been campaigning for the legalisation of euthanasia for many years, but it had always been stopped by conservative governments. This time, the left-wing coalition government brought the bill, getting 198 votes out of a maximum of 350. The conservative and Catholic Popular Party and the far-right Vox were among those who voted against it. 

If the bill becomes law, Spain will join four other European countries where euthanasia is legal - Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. 

Speaking about the effect that this bill could have in predominantly Catholic Spain, Ms Garcia said she believed it was another consequence of "the growth of the culture of death" in Spain and in Europe. 

"When death becomes a legal option, in many cases, it appears to be a legitimate option," she said. "This is a society that thinks of death as a solution: faced with the problem of an unwanted pregnancy, an unexpected suffering, a vital difficulty, the idea that death is a good way" she added. 

The bill will now face a vote in the Senate but it is widely expected to pass.

 

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