Euthanasia

Case of handicapped Spanish woman could lead to legalization of euthanasia

.- In a controversial case that confuses the right to receive disproportionate medical treatments with the legalization of euthanasia, the government of the Spanish region of Andalusia will decide in the coming days whether or not to authorize a patient with muscular dystrophy to disconnect the respirator that is keeping her alive.

Inmaculada Echevarria, 51, is demanding her respirator be disconnected and she has already attained the consent of a consultative body of the Andalusia government.  The problem is that the organization considers Echevarria’s request to be based on the “rejection of treatment” manifested by the patient, a right that is already recognized by Spanish law, which does not otherwise permit euthanasia.

This right implies the suspension of treatments that, for example, prolong the death of terminal patients.  However, Echevarria is not terminally ill, and disconnecting her respirator would lead to death.

“I am tired of living like this and of depending on everyone; I want an injection that will paralyze my heart,” said Inmaculada, who has been hospitalized for nine years.

According to the Spanish media, if the Andalusia government decides to accept Echevarria’s request and allow the respirator to be disconnected, it would set a precedent in favor of euthanasia in Spain.

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