Tuesday, May 24

The Prosecutor’s Office withdraws by the euthanasia law its accusation against Ángel Hernández, who helped his sick wife die

The Madrid Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has withdrawn the accusation against Ángel Hernández, the man who in 2019 helped his wife, María José Carrasco, die, suffering from terminal multiple sclerosis and who had repeatedly expressed his wish. The Public Ministry has made this decision after the entry into force of the euthanasia law on June 25, on the basis of which retroactively applies the modification of the Penal Code that promotes the norm because Ángel is “in the legal assumption authorized, “he says in a press release.

“The approval of the Law has entailed the legal recognition of the right to end life in situations of serious, chronic and incapacitating illness or serious and incurable disease, going on to legally protect a right that previously did not have legal coverage,” he says the Prosecutor’s Office, which sent the letter to the court on Wednesday requesting the withdrawal of the accusation. María José Carrasco, 61, had been suffering from end-stage multiple sclerosis for 30 years and her husband assisted her in ending her life in April 2019.

The Public Ministry had requested six months in jail for Ángel Hernández for a crime of cooperating with suicide, with extenuating confession and kinship, although it had reiterated that in the case of conviction, it would support that he be pardoned. She also acknowledged that Carrasco expressed to her husband in a “constant” way the desire to end his life due to the “intense” pain “beyond what he could bear” that he suffered.

In its report, the Prosecutor’s Office assesses whether, in the event that the rule had been in force at the time of the events, the requirements to have activated the procedure for the provision of assistance to die provided for by law were met, and concludes that “precisely in this specific case “the conditions do exist” to understand that Mr. Hernández’s conduct should not be the subject of criminal reproach. ”

María José had been diagnosed with the disease in 1989, and seven years later she was recognized as severely disabled. Since then he needed help for all the daily activities of his life. She had repeatedly asked, even in the media, to end her life, and given the delay that the euthanasia law accumulated – there have been three attempts since 2017 – they decided to videotape her assisted suicide.

Before, Ángel had tried to dissuade her, or at least delay the decision, the Prosecutor’s Office wielded in its indictment, but in view of the situation, “unable to continue seeing María José suffer, helpless due to the lack of institutional aid, and because of her continued, serious, express and unequivocal requests ”Angel finally decided to help her die. He did so by handing him a straw with the precise dose of Pentobarbital Sodium, which caused his death ten minutes later. Then the man called the emergency room to tell what had happened and was arrested.

The Madrid Prosecutor’s Office had also opposed that the case be followed in a court of violence against women, something that Angel’s defense also defended, understanding that there was no context of “domination and discrimination” of men over women.

The euthanasia law, which came into force last Friday, allows people of legal age with a serious and incurable disease that causes them “intolerable” suffering to request help to die. Either actively, which is when the doctor does it at the request of the patient or in the form of ‘assisted suicide’, which implies that the person kills himself with the assistance of a health worker, who provides the means and serves you. They must pass a series of filters and conditions; In total, the process can take a little over a month.

Ángel Hernández has been one of the people, along with other family members, who have promoted in recent years a public debate on euthanasia and, ultimately, the approval of the law. “Finally, an action like the one that María José and I did has had its effect. What mattered most to me is that I have finally fulfilled what I promised her, which was that I would not stop working because this law went ahead” He acknowledged last December in conversation with elDiario.es after Congress gave the green light to the text.