The Criminal Code regulates in article 143 the induction to suicide or cooperation with the suicide of other people, with a range of penalties ranging from two to ten years in prison, although a reduction is foreseen if there is an express request from the victim and she had a serious illness.
That is, the case of Ángel Hernández, arrested yesterday in Madrid for supplying a substance to help his wife, María José Carrasco, who has been suffering from multiple sclerosis since 1989 and who had been asking for help to die for years to die.
The couple recorded two videos in which she expressly requests the cooperation of her husband to ingest the substance that caused her death.
In the absence of parliamentary agreement to decriminalize euthanasia, the Criminal Code includes in Article 143 a series of cases to punish anyone who induces the suicide of another or who cooperates with it.
Thus, the one who induces suicide will be punished with imprisonment from four to eight years and the one who cooperates with acts necessary to the suicide of a person can be sentenced to between two and five years.
If the cooperation reaches "to the point of executing the death," that sentence will be six to ten years in prison.
But in section 4 of that article it is established that in cases of "express, serious and unequivocal request" of the victim, if the victim suffered "a serious illness that would necessarily lead to his death, or that would produce serious permanent and difficult conditions of endure, "the punishment will be with the penalty lower in one or two grades than those indicated.
This implies, for example, that if a person is considered responsible for cooperating with acts necessary to the suicide of a person (punished with between two and five years) of jail, the lower penalty in one or two grades would go from six months to two years of prison.
If it is established that this cooperation reaches the point of executing the death, the application of the lower penalty in one or two degrees would reduce the sentence to a range of between one year and three months and five years in prison.
In Spain, the Provincial Court of Zaragoza sentenced in two years in prison the young Ignacio Sánchez Olaso in 2016 for helping his sick mother to commit suicide. The Prosecutor's Office was asking for a six-year prison sentence.
In this case, extenuating confessions and kinship were applied. The woman had spent ten years without leaving home and was not receiving treatment because she suffered from a disease that caused paranoia with persecutory ideas, especially from doctors.
The Right to Die Association Rightly considers this the only sentence of a family member sentenced for helping to kill a person in Spain.
There are other judicial decisions that do not affect family members. The doctor Marcos Ariel Hourmann was condemned by the Audiencia of Tarragona to one year in prison and disqualification to practice medicine for helping to die a terminally ill. His case – which ended with an agreement with the Office of the Prosecutor – has come this year to the theater to raise awareness about the decriminalization of euthanasia.
In Barcelona, in 2012, a psychological adviser was sentenced to three years in prison for helping to kill a patient with depression, which even facilitated the heroine of extreme purity that ended his life of an overdose in February 2010.
A doctor member of the Right to Die in Madrid association and a volunteer of Encasa Palliative Care were accused of helping to kill a woman from Avilés (Asturias) in May 2012 and of trying it with a man from Cádiz two months later. In 2016 they were sentenced and accepted a penalty of two years in prison and a six-month fine.
The Justice acquitted Dr. Luis Montes for the alleged illegal sedation at Leganés Hospital, while Ramona Maneiro confessed after the prescription of the crime that she was the one who helped kill the Galician quadriplegic Ramón Sampedro in 1998, after ingesting a preparation of cyanide .