Spanish prison authorities on Tuesday euthanized a man who shot and wounded four people in December and was subsequently wounded in a shootout with the police, rendering him paralyzed and begging to be allowed to die while awaiting trial.
Courts allowed the man’s assisted death after rejecting several appeals by his victims, who argued he should face justice. The case even reached the Constitutional Court, which refused to deliberate on it, saying there had been no violation of fundamental rights.
Spain passed a law permitting euthanasia on Thursday for people with serious, chronic illness, no chance of recovery and unbearable suffering.
Spain approves euthanasia law
Disgruntled former security guard Eugen Sabau, 46, shot three of his colleagues, including a woman, at the security services firm where he worked in the northeastern city of Tarragona, and then wounded a police officer while making his escape.
Sabau died at 6.30 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to a source from the Catalan regional government.
The prison authorities were unavailable for comment and Sabau’s lawyer did not comment.
Spain legalized euthanasia just over a year ago. Prior to this, helping someone to end their life carried a jail term of up to 10 years.
After Sabau barricaded himself in a house with an arsenal of weapons, a tactical police unit stormed the place, shooting him several times.
The “Gunslinger of Tarragona,” as the Spanish media referred to him, was left with tetraplegia and had one leg amputated. His wounds caused chronic pain that could not be treated with painkillers due to his fragile state, something he said made his existence unbearable.
A court in Tarragona ruled that it was Sabau’s fundamental right to request euthanasia considering these circumstances.