Huelva, Spain, Sep 1, 2011 / 12:06 pm
The Right to Life Association in Spain has filed a lawsuit against the head of the Andalusia Health Department and the Blanca Paloma Hospital for withholding basic care from a 90-year-old woman.
Doctors say Ramona Estevez, who suffered a stroke on July 26 and was hospitalized, is in an irreversible coma. Last weekend health officials in Andalusia gave an order to have Estevez’s feeding tube removed at the request of her family, who claimed to be carrying out her wishes.
Speaking to reporters, Nicolas Moron, a lawyer with Right to Life, said the organization believes the decision to remove the feeding tube violates the law. He said Maria Jesus Montero, the head of the health department, is being sued for violating the duty to provide basic care, and the hospital for attempting to bring about the woman’s death.
Estevez “will not die from her stroke but rather from starvation,” Montero pointed out. He called the decision an unlawful act of “euthanasia directly aimed at causing the death of the patient.”
Moreover, Montero underscored that the irreversible nature of Estevez’s condition has not been substantiated and that her wishes were not that she be deprived of food and hydration but that she not receive extraordinary treatments. Right to Life is not arguing that Estevez should be subject to undue suffering, but rather that she should at the least be administered “basic care,” he said.
Right to Life filed a petition before the court in Huelva on Aug. 26 requesting that Estevez’s feeding tube be reinserted. According to Europa Press, the court said Right to Life lacked “the legitimacy” to file the request and did not provide evidence that a crime had been committed.