Euthanasia is one of the most controversial issues in today’s society . Bringing forward the natural date of death of a person is a vital decision, therefore, the Law says that it can be accessed by those patients who are in a context of ” serious , chronic and disabling illness or serious and incurable disease, causing a intolerable suffering .”
The patient, in addition, must have Spanish nationality, legal residence or registration certificate that proves a time of permanence in Spanish territory greater than 12 months, as well as being of legal age and “being able andaware at the time of the request “. This ensures that the decision has been made personally and freely .
But, what steps must be followed for the request for euthanasia

Written protocols

The first step is the written request with date and signature This formal request must be made to the patient’s regular doctor, who, in turn, must sign it, add it to the user’s medical record and corroborate that the case falls within the framework stipulated by the Euthanasia Law .
However, despite the signature of the expert, a brief process of around two days is mandatory in which both the patient and the doctor must meet to discuss the existing alternatives and channeled to the specific case of the applicant. One of these options is palliative care .
If you want to continue with the process, this first letter must be followed by a second. With a difference of 15 days, the patient must redeposit a new request to his doctor in which his decision is ratified. In the same way as in the previous one, this second request will be accompanied by a deliberative process in which the doctor will have to discuss the alternatives with the patient again.
If at the end of this second contact the patient answers affirmatively to the question of whether he wishes to go ahead with euthanasia , the doctor must notify the relevant positions and the patient must sign an informed consent .

Second medical opinion

The usual doctor to whom the patient has addressed must contact a second doctor , who has no relationship with either the main expert or the applicant, who assesses the feasibility of the request in the eyes of the law.
This consultant doctor must meet with the requesting patient and, in a maximum period of ten days, issue a report showing their assessment, whether favorable or unfavorable, to include it in the patient’s clinical history .
If both experts agree and consider euthanasia necessary for the applicant, the usual doctor will work on a report that collects all the patient’s information and that will be sent to the Autonomous Guarantees and Evaluation Commission (CGE) , the regulatory body of the euthanasia.

The Euthanasia Guarantees and Evaluation Commission

Once said report has reached the CGE, this body will be in charge, within a period of two days, of appointing a doctor and a lawyer who, in parallel, will evaluate the case. These professionals shouldwrite a final report that leads to the resolution of the case.
The decision of the doctor and the lawyer must be placed in the hands of the Presidency of the CGE , which, if affirmative, will have two days to communicate it to the requesting patient’s usual doctor .
At this stage of the first request, around 30 or 40 days should pass and, if everything has been correct, euthanasia can be carried out at the same time that the patient decides. It is important to point out that it does not have to be the same day or immediately, but when the plaintiff deems it convenient.
Finally, and after the aid to die, the main doctor must send a report to the CGEin which the entire procedure followed is contemplated.

What happens in the event that the request is rejected

As has been stated, the process that a patient who wants euthanasia must go through is long and difficult, so there is the possibility that, in any of the steps explained, the request is invalidated. But, in the event that this is the case,
if the request is rejected from the outset by the usual doctor, he will do so within a period of ten days and through a letter in which he states and justifies his decision . The patient, for his part, has 15 calendar days to claim the position of the doctor before the Guarantee and Evaluation Commission .
The same protocol would be followed if the one who rejects the request is the consultant doctor : the patient can claim before the CGE.
Ultimately, if this request before the CGE is again invalidated, the patient may go to the contentious-administrative court.
It may also happen that it is the CGE commission itself that does not see the request as adequate. In this case, the applicant will complain to the entity itself, which will be forced to form a new group to reassess the situation . In 20 days, these newly assigned professionals must issue their report.
Ultimately, if this request before the CGE is again invalidated, the patient may go to thecontentious-administrative court , without any stipulated deadlines. This decision will be final, and the patient will not be able to claim again.

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