A 51-year-old woman with advanced muscular dystrophy is trying to get the Spanish government to legalise euthanasia. Inmaculada Echevarria has been in a hospital bed for 20 years and says that she wants to die. Euthanasia supporters are hoping that her case will spark a debate in parliament. The present government appears to be broadly in favour of euthanasia, but legalising it would provoke huge opposition. The health minister, Elena Salgado, says that Ms Echevarria’s case is a matter for the courts.
In an October press conference, Ms Echevarria said that “the loneliness is worse than the physical pain. People treat me well, with kind words, but in the end no one helps me.” Her partner died in a car accident and she gave her son up for adoption. She has a brother in the northern city of Logrono, but he has not contacted her for years.
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