The years go by, suffering continues | Society

The years go by, suffering continues | Society

In 1998 the euthanasia debate intensified in Spain due to the case of Ramón Sampedro, the quadriplegic Galician who wanted to die but could not do it because only his head had life. Helping him to die was and is a crime. Since then, the debate is not so much social as political. The data from the Center for Sociological Research shows that most Spaniards are in favor of euthanasia, as well as assisted suicide and palliative care, which are already widespread. But the law of dignified death has been stuck in Congress and certain political tricks irritate the relatives who see how theirs are extinguished between terrible sufferings or survive without wanting to fight for a dignified end.

Ramón Sampedro Galicia. January 1998

The Galician whose story immortalized the filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar with an Oscar, died at age 55, a quadriplegic since he was 26. He was the first Spaniard to go to court to claim his right to a dignified death, but he was not successful. He made the decision on his own. "I know I can do it and I'll do it in a few months." Ramona Maneiro was the woman who helped him take the glass to her mouth and confessed years later when the crime had already been prescribed.

Madeleine Z. January 2007.

The woman ended her suffering with the help of two volunteers from the Right to Dignify Dignity association. He was 69 years old and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, paralyzing and fatal. Madeleine fled as a child of the Nazi persecution, survived the horrible death of her second husband and the abuse of the first. But he glimpsed that the disease would rob him of the dignity that always accompanied him.

Pedro Martínez Seville. December 2011

"I live in a prison that narrows," said this 34-year-old man, born in Teruel, affected by ELA. A friend had built him a kind of gadgetopipa so he could smoke without using his hands. "I can not even pass the sheets." "When you can not take care of yourself, it's not a dignified life," he said. A clandestine terminal sedation ended his life, after several attempts to help him in the hospital. "I want to claim legal euthanasia, or at least decriminalize assisted suicide," he said then. "It's not about dying with dignity. It's about living with dignity until the end. "

Immaculate Echevarría, Granada. March 2007.

This 51-year-old woman who suffered from progressive muscular dystrophy had her desire to have her ventilator removed, and she died in a public hospital after a long struggle so that she would not be kept alive artificially. It had to be transferred hours earlier to that hospital, the San Juan de Dios in Granada because in the previous one, Catholic, he did not consent. He had muscular dystrophy since he was 11 years old and had been bedridden for two decades. It was not necessary to practice euthanasia, only to stop the therapeutic effort. Your case opened legal changes in this regard.

José Luis Sagüés. The Alamo (Madrid). January 2014.

He was 63 years old and he fought against the system to die, but he did not get it legally and had to ask for help. He finished as he had foreseen, after drinking a wine and saying goodbye to his people. It was a whirlwind that loved life, so he decided that the time had come to say goodbye. Professor of German Philology at the Complutense University of Madrid, José Luis had seen how, in the last year, he had to park his life. "As Cortázar said, 'there is nothing left to do, the match goes out'. Well, the match is already burning my fingers. "

Andrea Noia (A Coruña). October 2015

He was only 12 years old, but due to his degenerative illness had to feed through a probe, which caused him a terrible suffering, as reported by his parents on several occasions. The girl received, under judicial supervision, the palliative sedation admitted by the Galician law for the terminally ill, but to achieve this her family had to go to a court. Andrea's parents thanked the support received in a statement. "She has gone peacefully and calmly, without suffering, as we all wanted and as she would have wanted." They had asked for the cessation of the medical practice that kept her alive, what is called therapeutic effort, and she died sedated.

José Antonio Arrabal. Alcobendas April 2017

I had everything planned and planned. He took his own life when he was alone so as not to give more sorrow to the relatives. He was 58 years old and showed his ID, his medical history, his will, a letter to the judge, a paper in which he donates his brain and a sheet that says only: "No resuscitation." Another case of ELA and the preparation of his death before the hands lose utility and you have to ask for the help of a friend with the risk that implies. He even rehabilitated the bathroom or other facilities. "Total, it was going to be a few months and I had to spend money that is left for my family," he explained to this newspaper. That is why he did not go to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is not penalized. "They were 12,000 euros."

Maru Chamizo. Madrid. December 2018.

He wanted to die, but he could barely utter those words because of the deterioration caused by the disease, already fatally paralyzed by the ELA at 67 years of age. "Because I do not want to suffer", translated through a device. "Living like that is not living." He died weeks later in a hospital when his situation worsened, without fulfilling his desire to be euthanized. The bill that seeks to decriminalize euthanasia was stuck in Congress. "She died without suffering, but they did not help her, she wanted to leave long before," said the husband.

Maribel Tellaetxe. Portugalete. March 2019.

He was born in 1973 and always had a cheerful, full life, next to his family, until Alzheimer's reached him and made them promise everyone that they would help him die when he did not recognize them. They did so, until the end. They fought in the Administrations, but the laws have not allowed it. The woman died without them being able to keep the promise. He wrote a document with your anticipated wills in which he claimed help to die. There was no way. "We're sad but happy at the same time, it's hard to say but it's a day to celebrate," explained one of his sons. "Their wishes have been fulfilled, after a long year of suffering, but at last they have been fulfilled."


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