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Spain: euthanasia, the Bishops against bill of law. “The State’s duty to protect every citizen’s life”. A call to palliative care


“In the philosophy behind the bill of law, the human being looks separated from other people, and society is not regarded as a tapestry of human interactions but as an area ruled by the total freedom of individuals withdrawn into themselves, with no connection with other people”. This is one of the arguments that the five Spanish bishops of the Family and Life Commission raise against a bill of law on euthanasia and assisted suicide. “The ultimate foundation of society” is actually the human being, “with others and for others”, hence “the State’s duty to protect every citizen’s life”. Somehow, what “the patients and their families really ask for”, the bishops say, is “to be helped to deal with problems and personal and family troubles that only happen in the last moments of life”, i.e. handling the pain and facing the grief, improving the patient’s independence and quality of life, supporting the families, all things that are part of palliative care. “It’s amazing that a law on euthanasia is going to be submitted when the state has never laid down any law on palliative care” or on the “training required” for this “discipline that has the highest scientific and ethical value in academic and healthcare areas”. “It is actually such care that is generally wanted by society and especially by healthcare professionals”.



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