Patients and Government of the Canary Islands yesterday prioritized palliative care in the face of euthanasia after the reappearance in Spain of the debate on voluntary intervention in favor of the death of a terminal patient, in the middle of the electoral campaign, as a result of the help given mid-week by Ángel Hernández for the death of his wife, María José Carrasco, ill for three decades of multiple sclerosis.
Precisely, from the Spanish Association of Multiple Sclerosis (Aedem) in the Gran Canaria capital eluded to pronounce on the convenience of a regulation of euthanasia in the whole of the State, as claimed by various political parties and social groups. "Our position is clear, we do not position ourselves because we work to improve the quality of life of patients, we do not enter to value something so personal and difficult", they settled from Aedem three days after the suicide of the patient with chronic neurological pathology through the assistance from her husband, detained but released after giving a judicial declaration pending criminal proceedings.
In similar terms were expressed from the Ministry of Health of the regional government, which half of last year approved the palliative care strategy 2018-2021 with a budget of 4.2 million euros. "The Canary Islands Health Service is committed, within its competence framework, to continue strengthening the activity of palliative care, which allows patients with severe pathologies to overcome the final phase of life in the best possible way with care and services. resources that need at all times by health personnel in all the Islands, "said official sources before encrypting the specialty patients in 6,500 personnel per year in the archipelago.
In short, "the Strategy responds to the needs of a sector of the population for which the priority is the quality of life over the cure, which can no longer be tax," concluded from Health in reference to the coordinated document by Dr. Marcos Gómez, a reference of the specialty in Spain, which in four years includes more than a hundred beds and almost 80 professionals (21 doctors, 38 nurses, 10 psychologists and 10 social workers). In addition to the palliative plan, the Canary Islands have since March 2015 a law of rights and guarantees of the dignity of the person before the final process of his life.
There are already several communities with their own laws in this area, but some autonomies (Cantabria or Castilla y León, for example) did not apply yet pending the approval of a state regulation. Although euthanasia lacks regulation in Spain, there is currently a law of dignified death that sets the conditions to which a terminally ill person can be entitled.
At the end of 2018, the Congress of Deputies approved, with the support of Partido Popular, Ciudadanos, Partido Socialista, Podemos and some members of the Mixed Group, a regulation that affects the right of patients to receive comprehensive palliative care. Meanwhile, the Criminal Code establishes in article 143 that "the one that induces the suicide of another shall be punished with the penalty of imprisonment of four to eight years", a sentence that is reduced in case this act is carried out "by petition express, serious and unequivocal of this "in the case of serious illness.
"No fear, I'm calm"
The tranquility expressed yesterday by Ángel Hernández contrasted with the storm unleashed in the political class over the legalization of euthanasia, in which the Church also entered.
"I'm not afraid, I'm calm, my wife stopped suffering," he said again and again in his home, where he summoned the media, accused of a crime of help or cooperation to commit suicide in a court in Madrid, for " continue with the battle "of the regulation of euthanasia. His defense will request that the extenuating circumstance contemplated in article 143.4 of the Penal Code be applied so that he does not have to enter prison, but he does not rule out requesting a pardon if there is a conviction.
Although the decision falls to the Government, its spokesperson, Isabel Celáa, did not enter into the matter, but expressed the commitment of the Government to promote "the regulation of the right to a dignified death with all precautions" and take it "as soon as possible" to Parliament to your approval Celáa stressed that the opposition's criticism that the government has used euthanasia in the campaign, since "what happened" was so strong, so extremely painful that any politician, was available to everyone, could not "seem to receive". have made a comment about it. "
The need for a law of euthanasia was defended by the Minister of Health, María Luisa Carcedo, because when a person has an incurable disease or is terminally ill, the decision to end their life is exclusively theirs and religious criteria should not intervene , moral, ethical, medical or judicial. Most of the criticism came from the PP, which criticized the PSOE and the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, his "electioneering" for opening a debate on euthanasia in the middle of the campaign, while maintaining its position of betting on palliative care as a measure for people who are in the "dying process".
From Citizens and Podemos also defended the regulation of euthanasia and the Church warned that "the death caused is not the solution."