Friday, August 12

Justice endorses for the first time the euthanasia of a prisoner in Spain

Marin ES will be able to die with dignity. The former security employee who shot his former colleagues in Tarragona and wounded several Mossos d’Esquadra in his flight has obtained the endorsement of the judge investigating him to be euthanized. He will thus become the first prisoner in Spain to have the right to assisted death since the law came into force a year ago.

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The man has been hospitalized since last December for a spinal cord injury after being shot by the police. He had previously opened the office of a security company in the center of Tarragona, seriously injuring three former colleagues. In his flight, he wounded a plainclothes constable. The gunman barricaded himself in an abandoned farmhouse and given his refusal to talk to the police, the Mossos Special Intervention Group shot him down and arrested him. Earlier the gunman had also shot at the officers.

With Marin ES admitted to the Terrassa prison hospital due to a spinal cord injury, the legal case has continued to advance. The former security employee is under investigation for five attempted murders. Marin ES had already received a first medical endorsement for euthanasia, but the lawyers of the injured turned to the judge and asked to suspend the assisted death so that the gunman sat on the bench and was tried.

The magistrate investigating the shooting has rejected the claim of the wounded guards and agents and has authorized assisted death, as has been advanced BE Catalonia. “The rights at stake clearly win in favor of those affected by the euthanasia law”, resolves the instructor.

For the magistrate, the rights to physical and moral integrity, dignity and personal autonomy of the accused prevail over the interests of the victims so that there is a trial. The judge emphasizes that it is not a conflict between “considerable” rights, since Marin ES’s desire to die with dignity “takes precedence” “because of its proximity to the core of the right to life”, without being able to assess it. distinctions “based on his life trajectory”.

“The uneasiness of the victims is understandable,” adds judge Sònia Zapater, who nevertheless adds that they could see their “compensatory process” completed through other means, such as civil.

The euthanasia law, argues the magistrate, “does not provide for the need to obtain judicial authorization” nor the cases in which the process can be interrupted or postponed “outside the express request of the patient.”

The judge abounds that the recent regulations “do not specifically regulate euthanasia applied to people who are in a provisional prison situation or subject to a judicial procedure of any kind”, and that their action is only contemplated in cases of minors or people disabled.

Before he agrees to euthanasia, next Monday Marin ES will appear by videoconference, although his health condition will prevent him from giving a long statement.

Once the judicial guarantee for euthanasia has been obtained, the Guarantee and Evaluation Commission of the Generalitat, made up of doctors and jurists, must still evaluate the case of Marin ES and will have the last word on her request. The case of Marin ES becomes a precedent on dignified death in Spain.