Author of proposed euthanasia legislation, yet to go up for Knesset vote, says it will ‘put Israel in forefront of enlightened nations’.
The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill to make assisted suicide legal for terminal patients.
The bill passed by a majority of eight to two; one minister chose to abstain from voting. In order to become ratified as a law, the bill must pass a vote at the country’s parliament, the Knesset.
It was put forth by Knesset Member Ofer Shelah from the centrist Yesh Atid party.
According to the terms of the bill, patients diagnosed with an incurable disease who are expected to live less than six months would be able to end their life with medical assistance.
Shelah was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that the law “would give [a patient] an amount of control over her or his life without the doctor fearing that s/he would be legally taking responsibility for the patient’s death, at a stage when the pain and suffering are unbearable.”
He further added that approving the proposal will “put Israel in the forefront of enlightened nations.”
Naftali Bennett’s ultra-nationalist Habayit Hayehudi party immediately responded to the news announcing its Knesset Members would vote against the proposal.
Resistance from right-wing law makers, who make up the majority of the Knesset, is expected to complicate the bill’s legal path.
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