Spanish legislators passed a law allowing assisted suicide

Spanish legislators this week moved a bill to allow assisted suicide in the country, which completed the decisive step of making Spain one of the handful of countries in the world so that temporarily ill patients could end their lives.

The draft law, which lawmakers voted on, was first introduced in February and is aimed at removing an aspect of the Spanish Criminal Code that prohibits anyone from assisting in the death of a terminally ill person.

The law passed the lower chamber of the Spanish parliament by a vote of 198-138 and will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to pass, The New York Times reported.

The law would allow the patient to choose between aiding or abetting suicide by a health care professional, who could come home with the prescribed medication that could end their life.

Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland already have laws to legalize suicide, while many U.S. states have provisions for temporarily ill patients.

Auxiliary suicide offers heavy fighting around the world, including in Spain, where protesters gathered in Madrid this week to protest the law by beating the funeral procession.