Madrid, Spain, Sep 8, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The controversy surrounding positive comments from Spanish government officials regarding a film which depicts a quadriplegic man who committed suicide with the help of his friends as a hero has led organizations that care for and defend quadriplegics to demand authorities ensure their right to live with dignity instead of promoting their eventual elimination.
Civil rights groups in Spain have been making public the testimonies of various quadriplegic leaders and have launched a campaign to get citizens to support those who suffer from this condition by sending letters to government officials, especially to the Ministers of Work and Social Issues, Health, Justice and Culture, in order to make known their rejection of the official support that is being given to a film that devalues the life of quadriplegics and to solicit real support for such individuals.
The campaign, led by the Spanish website www.hazteoir.org, was launched after Spanish President Jose Luis Zapatero, together with seven cabinet members, attended the debut of the film, “Mar Adentro,” directed by Pedro Amenabar, which narrates the story of Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who committed suicide with the help of friends.
“HazteOir wants to give voice to quadriplegics, who don’t go to the cinema and don’t care for the ‘kind’ offer to end their lives, but rather are interested in the real possibility of enjoying conditions that are worthy of life,” representatives said.