María José Carrasco, the woman with end-stage multiple sclerosis who committed suicide on Wednesday by taking medication Her husband, Ángel Hernández, had prepared him 10 years on the waiting list to enter a residence. Finally, he died without ever having obtained a place, even temporarily, as they requested so that he could have surgery for a hernia, according to the documents presented to the Community of Madrid last year.
The "residential care", the bureaucratic name to define a place in an assisted residence, was granted on September 15, 2009 by Miguel Ángel García Martín, then general director of Dependency Coordination of the Community of Madrid. In the resolution, Carrasco is recognized with a degree of dependency III, level 1, of the highest of the scale and that, in theory, should receive priority attention. But the place of residence never became effective, so the woman continued at home.
Until then, according to the documentation that the couple provided to EL PAÍS, they had been taken care of by their mother (who died in 2009 after suffering from Parkinson's disease) and Hernández. The husband, an image technician, requested early retirement in 2010 with 61 years to be able to take care of her, after having spent a long season with reduced working hours and an extraordinary leave for the same reason. Coinciding with the illness of the mother, in 2007 the couple asked for a place for Carrasco, who had recognized the great disability since 1996, at the Alicia Koplowitz Center for Multiple Sclerosis in Madrid, which was denied.
The situation worsened last year. Then Hernandez was 69 years old and his back suffered ("degenerative disc spondylitis") and he had an umbilical hernia. The medical documents he owns attribute it to "the physical efforts of that help [que presta a su mujer], linked to their advanced age. "They diagnosed that the back had to be operated, so the couple asked for a temporary residence for Carrasco while he underwent the intervention and recovered, since they do not have" any relative for his replacement ". They sent the request on February 2, 2018, one day after he received the medical indications at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation, which was registered at the Moncloa-Aravaca office on February 6.
On the 20th of the same month, the hospital informed Hernández that the date of his operation would be on the 27th. As the couple had not yet received a response from the Community of Madrid about the admission of her, they requested that the intervention be delayed, postponed one month, for March 20.
Three days later, on February 23, the official response to Carrasco arrived: "A new temporary income may not be enjoyed until one year has elapsed since the previous one ended, except in exceptional circumstances that require it". The regional government considers in this document that they already have the place granted in 2009, although that position never became effective.
The couple was still expressing their indignation and disbelief in October of last year, when they received EL PAÍS. "After 10 years on the waiting list, they deny us the help because they say we have already received it," said Hernández. "They also did not consider this an exceptional circumstance."
Bureaucratic soap opera
As of that date, the bureaucratic soap opera becomes entangled. The marriage presents an appeal and the Administration recognizes the error and offers a place, but only if they withdraw the appeal. Meanwhile, the second date for his operation, on March 20, has already passed. They decide to maintain the resource, trusting that they will be granted the permanent position to which they have been entitled for 10 years.
Last May, the solution seems to be approaching. On the 11th they receive a call from the Community. On the 14th, they buy a wheelchair that they hope will help Carrasco to be better in the residence they think will be going, with an "expense close to 1,000 euros". And on the 17th the disappointment comes: to have access to the temporary residence, they have to give up asking for the permanent one, and wait for a benefit to end to request the other one. They refuse.
On May 24, the Jiménez Díaz Foundation notifies Hernández that he can not continue postponing the operation. After three months since you were offered the appointment, you should be removed from the waiting list. On June 10, without having received a response from the Community, the appeal lapses due to administrative silence. The refusal to grant attention for the alleged enjoyment of a previous place is in force.
Olatz Alberdi, Hernández's lawyer, states that the process ended there because the couple was offered palliative care. They confirm it, but in their day they told EL PAÍS that they renounced it -and there is no documentary basis- because they were denied the sedation that she wanted, and in return they were offered more painkillers or even intubated to feed her. It was when Carrasco said: "I do not want to sleep, I want to die." They also did not have palliative care at home.
In that October interview, they denied that the decision that she commit suicide with the help of Hernández was motivated by the lack of palliatives. They already had the products they were going to use, they said. "As atheists, we do not believe there's anything after, it's over when it's over, what she wants is to decide when," he said.
The decision came on Wednesday. Carrasco took the medicine her husband had prepared for her. He was free Thursday night. Now you can ask again to be operated.