Paralyzed Spaniard hails euthanasia law change

Paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a car crash at 19, Spaniard Rafael Botella, now 35, thought of ending his life.

Although he has since changed his mind, Botella is relieved that Spain is about to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Botella is far from giving up at the moment. Using his mouth and nose to work his computer, he has learned to mix music and plays live DJ sessions on Facebook.

Cared for by his 75-year-old mother, he's also making a short film and writing a book on his experience.

But he's confined to bed by agonizing pain and wants the future option of assisted suicide.

"I can cheer people up, I can have all the will in the world but I don't know when all of this is going to fall apart or if it is not going to fall apart. So if it falls apart, as I always say, I want to have a bullet in the chamber in case I need it."

Spain's parliament is set to approve the new law in a final reading on Thursday (March 18).

Despite staunch opposition from the political right and religious groups.

Botella considers that unacceptable interference.

"If for some reason someone is tired of living, no one has the power to tell him 'no, you will live because my voters or my ideology tells the contrary or just because I don't want to'."

Almost 90% of Spaniards are in favour of decriminalization, according to a 2019 opinion poll. But for now, helping someone end their life carries a jail term of up to 10 years.

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