New euthanasia debate in Spain
by Xavier Symons | 11 Feb 2017 |
Spain’s Congress of Deputies is debating new euthanasia legislation, as right-to-die lobbyists intensify their campaign in the country.
Unidos Podemos (UP), a political coalition of the the Communist Party and the major party Podemos, presented a bill to Congress in mid-January that would permit assisted dying under certain circumstances.
The Unidos Podemos bill proposes that terminally ill patients over the age of 18, and also adults suffering from “unbearable” psychological or physiological pain, be allowed to access medical assistance in dying.
There is also another bill shortly to be registered in Congress by representatives from Catalonia’s regional parliament. Late last month the Catalonian parliament resolved to move a federal bill -- similar to the UP proposal -- that would modify the federal penal code to permit medical assistance in dying.
“Human freedom lasts until the end of life,” said Isabel Alonso, the president of the Right to a Dignified Death Association, which is behind the Catalonian motion.Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP) has traditionally opposed euthanasia, though commentators are calling on PP to have an ‘open mind’ in the new debate.
A child who self-harms must be one of the most agonising experiences a parent can have. But it is relatively common. A study in The Lancet a few years ago found that about 1 in 12 teenagers, mostly girls, engaged in self-harming behaviour, with the most common methods cutting or burning. Most of them stop as adults, but some continue. It is a phenomenon which still seems to baffle the medical profession, despite the abundance of statistics.
In this issue of BioEdge, we report on an interesting response to self-harm, at least for some patients – educate them to minimise the harm, but supply them with razors. Given that harm minimisation is a popular public policy approach in other areas, like drugs, this makes some sense. But I think that most people will regard it as quite confronting. What do you think?
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