January 28, 2021

Euthanasia is promoted in the cinema

Euthanasia is promoted in the cinema


Manuela does not understand why Ramón wants to die. He has devoted himself body and soul to taking care of him since that damned accident sawed his spine and left him prostrate in a bed. Life has already given him a lot of sticks, it shows in his face. But it has not been until now when the value has been raised. For her, it's always worth fighting. From you to you. Without being afraid of death because this, after all, is just another part of the way. The character played by Mabel Rivera in «Sea inside», by Alejandro Amenábar, is a reflection of the incomprehension that so many relatives feel when observing impotent how a loved one decides to leave his side. The cinema is no stranger to the debate generated by the clash between supporters of palliative care and advocates of euthanasia. In fact, for a long time, it is perceived that a campaign is being launched in favor of the latter. That was the main theme that was discussed yesterday in the cycle "Living and dying with dignity", organized by CinemaNet. In it, Manuela would not be the only one to raise her voice. And, what is more important, you would finally feel that others understand your fear.

The struggle for life should not be a fight against death because, sooner or later, it will be a lost battle. Through the work of Dr. Pablo Iglesias, Carlos Agulló teaches us to see things differently. For it is not so much a question of dying with dignity, but of doing it right up to the last moment. "This is a subject that interests us all, but which almost nobody wants to face," explains the author of "The other days." While filming this documentary, he realized that for the eight patients receiving the treatment, the most important moments were intimacy with his family. The same happened to Jack McKee. He is a successful surgeon. However, his treatment with patients is also quite deficient and his attitude in the operating room is very conflictive. This continues, until the protagonist of «The Doctor», by Randa HainesHe is diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and is treated as a patient in his own hospital. It is significant his change of attitude from when he proclaimed that the functions of a surgeon were "diagnose, operate and leave", even when he asks his pupils: "You have spent a lot of time learning Latin names of diseases, now you are going to understand that Patients have their name. "

This lack of information can be harmful even if it is presented as an act of love. «We lack those references. Euthanasia appears more in the cinema precisely because of that: it is a much more immediate and explosive conflict in the face of a fiction, "he says. Paula Ortiz, director of «The bride». Although she has not yet brought such a dilemma to the big screen, she considers that the decision between living or dying is the germ of any story. "It implies a very strong emotional, moral and physical decision to generate an addictive experience and an interesting debate. In contrast, palliative care is a more subtle debate and involves a more dramatic issue to deal with. " This complex situation that the patients are going through can be seen in films like "Love », by Michael Haneke, or« Love life », by Mike Nichols. In that last one, a literature professor faces an advanced ovarian tumor with generalized metastasis. Her perfectionist nature now allows her to use the methods that were used in the university to extract the truth in what she taught to reach a good ending. That's why he makes the decision to respect his dreams until the end of his days. Without temporal limits and without therapeutic fights, because what it is about is to live properly his own death.

"Euthanasia dominates the screen because it is a direct consequence of the dominant individualism that prevails in our society," says Jerónimo Martín, president of the Círculo de Escritores Cinematográficos. «This attitude also generates responsibilities around the person who suffers, as happens in their parents, the welfare state, friends, Social Security …». They are there «The Butterfly Diving Suit», by Julian Schnabel, or «Ma ma», by Julio Medem, where the main objective is to find meaning in the last days. This same doubt also exists in «To live», of Kurosawa, in which the protagonist affected of a gastric cancer, once knows its suffering says: «The misfortune has another good side […]. Men are frivolous, they realize how beautiful life is only when they face death ». The terminality does not have to be a period of distress and distressing waiting, because it accommodates moments in which the therapeutic potentialities of good humor can be exploited, as demonstrated in «Patch Adams», by Tom Shadyac, or «Maktub», by Paco Arango. The latter has been working with adolescents for 18 years and, in very few cases, they could talk directly to the subject. "Treating death more naturally can give peace to those who are having a bad time," he says. It is true that, for now, has not entered to qualify euthanasia in his cinema, because the purpose of any person should always be to live the longest time with the least possible pain. "One day is more than enough to change your perspectives."

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