Spain allows man to be euthanized ahead of trial for attempted murder

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Authorities in Spain faced trial on Tuesday for shooting and wounding a man at his former workplace, drawing criticism from victims for not helping a police officer die before going to court.

The unprecedented case sheds light on Spain’s controversial euthanasia law, which allows patients in chronic pain to commit assisted suicide regardless of their legal status, according to court documents.

Police say Marin Eugen Sabau, 46, stormed the security company office from which he was recently fired in the northeastern city of Tarragona and opened fire in December.

Security camera footage The shooting shows a man entering an office taking off his hat and wig, before pulling out a gun and shooting several people. The blood of the victims pleading for their lives pooled on the ground.

After the attack, Sabau shot an officer at a checkpoint and then barricaded himself in a farmhouse full of weapons, police said. According to his euthanasia petition, officers cornered him and shot him multiple times, causing irreversible spinal cord damage. He was partially paralyzed and had one of his legs amputated, he said, with injuries that continued to cause him severe pain and made him eligible for euthanasia.

Before standing trial for attempted murder, Sabau asked a doctor to consider suicide.

“I am a paraplegic. I have 45 stitches in my arm. I can’t move my left arm properly. I have screws and I can’t feel my chest,” Sabau said in a prison hospital statement released to local media outlets, according to a Spanish daily newspaper. That country.

Originally from Romania, Sabau said he had been a victim of racism and that his employers had made his life a “living hell”. Reported. In an email to his superiors before the shooting, he threatened to “take the law into his own hands”, saying “lessons learned in blood are not easily forgotten.”

Spain is one of four European countries, along with Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, to allow patients with terminal illnesses or chronic pain to be euthanized.

“He has the right to die with dignity, but what about compensation for the victims?” Mireya Ruiz, a lawyer for one of the injured, told local reporters.

Spain’s euthanasia law, passed in March 2021, states that adults with conditions causing “unbearable suffering” can choose to end their lives through physician-assisted suicide. It makes no exception for those in the middle of legal action.

Lawyers for the victims of the December attack asked the court to put Sabau’s death on hold until after the trial, but Judge Sonia Zaptar Torres denied their request.

“One could say that there is a conflict of fundamental rights here,” Zapatero Torres said in her ruling. She concluded that the right to dignity and personal autonomy is a fundamental right that overrides the victims’ right to a fair trial.

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