MADRID – The official associations of doctors, dentists and pharmacists of Madrid announced in a joint message that they oppose ‘the rightlessness for healthcare workers and the risk for citizens’ in the new euthanasia law.
The Spanish government passed a euthanasia bill in December last year. It gives seriously ill patients who suffer unbearably, and with no prospect of a cure, the right to euthanasia. The bill is currently in the Senate for approval. If it gets the green light, this year Spain will become the fourth European country to legalise euthanasia.
In the Madrid region, doctors oppose the new euthanasia law, as they consider it dangerous. Furthermore, they intend to request the regional government not to pass it as law. “We want to give a voice to the medical staff who are seriously concerned about the euthanasia law,” he medical associations advised in their statement. They pointed out that nowhere in Europe, except Benelux, allows euthanasia. The Senate is expected to give its opinion on the matter by the end of March at the earliest.
‘Right to life undermined’
According to the medical colleges, the euthanasia law will “have serious consequences for health care and health personnel and will gradually undermine the right to life”. According to the declaration’s signatories, it is very rare that a patient receiving professional care opts to end their life.
Prefer to invest in palliative care
Doctors, dentists and pharmaceuticals prefer to see the quality of palliative care improved rather than killing seriously ill patients. They criticise the fact that legally permitted euthanasia creates the unjustified image that it is a natural death. Furthermore, the colleges find the bill’s timing inappropriate, in the midst of a pandemic that affects all medical staff. For parliament to approve a law without any social debate or consultation with professionals from the field is unheard of.
“We demand, after consultation with healthcare professionals, a General Palliative Care Act and an annulment of the euthanasia law. In the event that this law is not withdrawn, we reserve the right to ask the regional administration to annul this unjustified and unethical law”. This from the statement signed by the College of Dentists and Stomatologists (COEM), the College of Medici in Madrid (Icomem) and the College of Pharmaceuticals in Madrid (COFM).