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Spain

THE DESCRIMINALIZATION OF EUTHANASIA IN THE SPANISH PARLIAMENT

Madrid / The proposed law that will be voted by the Congress of Deputies of the Spanish parliament requests the reform of article 143.4 of the Penal Code to decriminalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, as well as to exonerate from criminal liability anyone who helps a person die a terminal or incurable disease that causes severe physical or mental suffering.

Currently, the Criminal Code provides prison sentences of between 4 and 8 years for “who induces the suicide of another” and penalties of between 2 and 5 for those who cooperate with “acts necessary to the suicide of a person.” It also establishes that he will be punished with the prison sentence of 6 to 10 years, if the cooperation reaches the point of causing death.

The Proposition of law by the Parliament of Catalonia – already approved in the regional chamber – that debated the Congress of Deputies in the session last Tuesday asks for the reform of the Penal Code in the expressed sense and counts, for the first time, with a sufficient majority to advance in said reform, according to the intention of vote expressed by the spokespersons of the different parliamentary groups.

Although, PP (party in the Government) together with UPN have been against and Ciudadanos, led by Albert Rivera, has announced that it will abstain, the rest of the groups told EFE its favorable position to the initiative that the full of the Lower House votes this Thursday.

The parliamentary groups defending the initiative argued that euthanasia “has the majority support of society” (ERC), that its regulation “is not going to subtract rights from anyone” (In Comú Podem) or it is ” dignify “the process of death (PSC).

PP reiterated its rejection of the decriminalization of euthanasia, because, among other things, it goes against the medical meaning that is the defense of life and not death and Ciudadanos will abstain because it defends a law of rights and guarantees of dignity of the person before the final process of his life, like the one that is in the phase of presentation in the Congress at the initiative of his party.

In addition, it assured that this initiative only protects those who practice euthanasia, but forgets the patients who suffer, and has insisted that this proposed reform needs a regulatory framework.

In Spain, the Law on Patient Autonomy and Rights and Obligations Regarding Information and Clinical Documentation establishes that the patient has the right “to freely decide, after receiving the appropriate information, among the available clinical options”, as well as ” refuse treatment, except in the cases determined in the Law”.

The limit to that patient’s will is in article 143.4 of the Criminal Code – the one that intends to repeal the initiative of the Parliament of Catalonia that is being debated today in Congress – which prohibits active euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Only Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada have decriminalized euthanasia, as well as some states of the United States and Australia. In Switzerland, assisted suicide is not a crime. (May 9, 2018, EFE/ Practica Español)

Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read and answer the questions)

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Question 1
En el texto se dice que...  
A
una proposición de ley va a ser votada en el Congreso de los Diputados de España.
B
se ha aprobado una proposición de ley en el Congreso de los Diputados de España.
C
acaba de realizarse una votación en el Congreso de los Diputados de España.
Question 2
Según el texto,  con esa proposición de ley se quiere...  
A
endurecer aún más las penas para aquellas personas que 'ayudan' a morir a los enfermos terminales.
B
evitar que se legalice la práctica de la eutanasia en España.
C
reformar un artículo del Código Penal para que ya no sea un delito la eutanasia.
Question 3
En la noticia se dice que...  
A
las personas que induzcan o ayuden a otras al suicidio pasarán varios años entre rejas.
B
si alguien ayuda a una persona que se quiera suicidar estará varias décadas en prisión.
C
actualmente el Código Penal no castiga a las personas que ayuden a otra a suicidarse.
Question 4
En el texto se dice que...  
A
el partido gobernante de España se mostró favorable con la aprobación de esta proposición de ley.
B
el partido gobernante en España está en contra de esta proposición de ley ya que es contraria al sentido médico.
C
es posible que el partido gobernante en España dé luz verde a esta proposición de ley.
Question 5
La mayoría de los partidos de la oposición están a favor de esta proposición.  
A
Así es.
B
¡Imposible saberlo!
C
En absoluto.
Question 6
Según el texto...  
A
la eutanasia está legalizada en algunos estados del continente americano.
B
la eutanasia no ha sido legalizada aún por ningún país europeo.
C
la práctica de la eutanasia es legal en todo Estados Unidos.
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Review grammar notes: tenses of the subjunctive mood


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