“The Euthanasia Law dignifies us as human beings and contributes to building a more humane, fair and decent society”

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has highlighted the importance of the entry into force of the Euthanasia Law, on the first year anniversary of this right, which “dignifies us as human beings and contributes to building a more humane, fair and decent society”.

According to preliminary data, to date about 180 euthanasia practices have been carried out in Spain. Of this total number, 22 people have donated their organs, making possible, thanks to their generosity, a total of 68 transplants.

This was stated in the commemorative act ‘1 year of the Euthanasia Law’, held at the Ministry of Health within the program ‘Health x Culture’, in which the documentary ‘The trip to Iceland’, by César Vallejo de Castro narrates the vision of a terminally ill patient, Luis de Marcos, about the right to euthanasia.

Subsequently, a debate was held coordinated by the journalist specialised in Science, Débora Álvarez, in which Desirée Alemán, member of the Canary Islands Community Guarantee and Evaluation Commission; Marta Rodríguez, journalist for RTVE and collaborator of ‘The trip to Iceland’; Fernando Marín, doctor and vice president of the Federal Association Right to Die with Dignity; and Yolanda Muñoz Alonso, nurse and president of the Guarantee and Evaluation Commission for the provision of help in dying in the Balearic Islands took part. The director of the short film and the protagonist’s widow, Asun Gómez, also joined in online

In her speech, the minister pointed out that in Spain, for a year, we have had a new health benefit in the National Health System that allows us to access some of the most valuable assets of the human condition with more guarantees, such as dignity, freedom or autonomy of will.

Darias has indicated that sensitivity, courage and political will have been necessary for this new right and has highlighted that this Law is a progressive response by the Government of Pedro Sánchez to a historical demand, a collective process driven by work and tireless struggle of many people such as patients, family members, couples and health professionals and of the autonomous communities and cities together with the Ministry of Health.

Joint work has made it possible for two tools that guarantee equality and quality in the provision of help in dying, such as the Manual of Good Practices and the Action Protocol, to be approved in record time, and unanimously, by the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System.

The minister pointed out that the shared data reflects that there is a consolidated public healthcare provision architecture, which is making it possible to access the right that regulates the euthanasia law, thus improving our care capacity.