The doctor of Primary care who cared for Emilia during the last years at the Torre Ramona Health Center in Saragossa acknowledges that the patient “was warning” about his possible suicide, which he finally executed last Saturday when he launched himself into the void from his home in the Las Fuentes neighborhood. She was told the news by the social worker at the center. “I do not feel guilty but I am very bad” he assured this newspaper, after saying that “although in principle I did not take the application”, on the second occasion he presented it, “yes, the request was processed”.
The Government of Aragon, in the words of the Minister of Health, Sira Cabbage, has recognized this Monday that there has been a “failure” due to the “delay in the start of the procedures” as a result of the “delay in adjudication of a responsible physician in the processing of the patient’s request ”, after hers declared herself to be a conscientious objector. In fact, they have indicated that they have “purged responsibilities” before “those responsible who have not carried out the actions that they should have carried out because of their position.”
The doctor at the Las Fuentes neighborhood health center has assured that, in her opinion, Emilia, who suffered from a congenital hip dislocation aggravated over the years (she carried three from the bed to the sofa and vice versa), “was not a candidate for the that she requested because there are other ways “and, although in the first instance she did not collect the request (delivered in early July)Yes, she did it in the second and “it was processed” despite the fact that she declared herself a conscientious objector. In fact, he said that Emilia, 83, wanted to deliver it the day after the approval of the law and “we were all caught without knowing how to act. That is why I did not take it until I knew what I was committing to.” Later, “the procedure has followed its channels.”
As for the delay in obtaining a second physician, he said that “it is not easy” for one doctor to take care of another’s patient and more “for a case like this.” Furthermore, he is aware of whate “everything is new” since the law was approved in June and it may be necessary to look for people “involved in the project”. She, who had a consultation this Monday, insisted that because of her ideas “I do not agree” on the application of euthanasia in this case, perhaps “if it were terminal, I might have been involved in another way.” She knows that Emilia he suffered from very strong pain, to which was added “a depressive picture” aggravated by not leaving homeBut even so, “you could try other things, because she still had many years to live,” she pointed out, before adding that the patient “did not accept anything else but, in my opinion, it doesn’t seem like a reason to ask for euthanasia” .
The medical coordinator of the Torre Ramona health center, Luis Otegui, explained that Emilia’s suicide has “upset them” and “caught them by surprise” since the processing of their request was “done in a timely manner.” After conscientious objection from his family doctor, “the documentation was sent to the Health Directorate”, who was looking for a second physician to take charge of the case.
Professionals urge legal development and guarantee rights
Primary Care physicians in Aragon claim that, in addition to the law, a “legal development” is necessary that “as of today is not available,” said Mercedes Ortín, CesmAragón’s secretary general; and a regulation in which the rights of professionals to benefit from conscientious objection and also of patients to be euthanized coexist. Leandro Catalán, president of the Fasamet union, has emphasized that “what is necessary is to have the regulation foreseen when the law is approved.” And it is that, as both claim, “we are only the link in the health system.” For her part, Pilar Borraz has pointed out that in rural medicine, many patients are older with multiple pathologies and she was in favor of a palliative care law prior to euthanasia. All have lamented the suicide in Zaragoza of a woman who had insistently requested the application of euthanasia.
It is there where the Government of Aragon is aware of the “failure” since the law is “very guaranteeing both with professionals and users.” In this case, he evidenced the “delay in the adjudication” since it was in process. And for that reason, he stated that “we will continue to be vigilant so that the procedures continue in a timely manner.”
In addition, he asserted “that the health system is made up of many people, with a lot of individual variability, but we are concerned that all professionals have information on the procedures for initiating procedures for the right to this benefit, as well as information on how they could register in the objectors registry because it is a right that professionals have. ”In fact, he has stated that at this time 6% of healthcare professionals, which includes doctors, nurses and pharmacists, have signed up to the objector registry, a percentage that he described as “low.”
Representatives of the Department meet this Wednesday with members of the association Right to Die with Dignity, an appointment previously scheduled, but in which Emilia’s case will surely be discussed. From the group they recognize that “more information” is needed for both families and professionals, and they ask that Emilia’s death be the last.