Euthanasia in Spain
Inmaculada Echevarría, a 51 year old woman who suffered from the degenerative disease, muscular distrophy, finally won her battle to be allowed to die yesteray. She died last night at 9pm in the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Andalucia. According to the Andalucian Health Service, the medical team that attended her made sure that she was in no pain when she died.
Inmaculada Echevarría had been transferred the same day from the San Rafael hospital in Granada, run by a religious order to the San Juan de Dios hospital run by the Andalucian Health Service in order to fulfil her final wish, to die with dignity.
Although the religious order that ran the hospital where she had been for the last 10 years accepted Inmaculada Echevarría’s desire to die as reasonable her transfer to another hospital was requested due to conflicting opinions in some religious sectors.
Echevarría had received the authorization to be allowed to die from the Andalucian Ethics Commitee.
The Andalucian Government assured that following the ruling supporting the patient’s wishes, that Echevarria had received medical from the same medical team that had treated her in San Rafael Hospital until her final moments of life. In accordance with the Ethic Committee’s ruling Echevarria had been sedated in order to avoid any suffering on the patient’s part.
Before she was disconnected from her artificial respiratory machine doctors and psychologists informed the patient of the process and confirmed once again the patient’s desire to die.
During her last days alive Echevarria was visited by her biological son, who she had given up for adoption when he was just a few months old following the death of her partner in a traffic accident. She also said goodbye to her close friends. However, she refused to speak to the media who had been following her case since it had become public.
Inmaculada had been suffering a degenerative disease since she was a child. She first noted the effects when she was just 11 years old. She had out lived both her parents and had survived her sister who had died from a broken neck in an accident. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper, El Pais, Inmaculada said that she had wanted to die for 27 years, since she had given up her son for adoption.
Inmaculada will be cremated on Friday. Her closest friend will attend the crematorium and has asked for respect and privacy.