This week, the Spanish authorities decided to prosecute Ángel Hernández for his assistance in the suicide of his wife, earlier this month. Hernández’ wife, Maria José Carrasco, had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for thirty years and was in very poor condition. She wanted to end her life for a long time and had formulated this in an advance directive and on various videos made by her husband. The couple first hoped that the current Spanish parliament would pass a euthanasia law. However, the bill, which was there, did not pass Parliament before it was dissolved in March. Therefore, Maria José Carrasco ended her life begin April, with help of her husband.
After Hernández brought his wife the glass with the deadly substance with straw to her lips, he was arrested by the police (the same day). At that arrest, he told the police what had happened and handed them the videos. With the videos and the advance directive, Hernández and his lawyer hope to have sufficient evidence that it was his wife’s voluntary choice to die. Hernández wants to breathe new life into the debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide in Spain. Their case is the first in which a family member publicly confesses, shows, and therefore becomes involved in a court case. Carrasco and Hernández made it clear earlier that with this way of acting they hope to be able to help other people in the same situation and ‘nobody else has to undergo this’.
The authorities decided to prosecute Hernández and a judge in Madrid has now transferred this case to a court specializing in gender violence. Legal sources explain that the doctrine of the Supreme Court states that the law obliges to transfer this case to a court that specializes in gender violence. It is a fact that took place within a relationship or couple and that these facts must therefore be investigated by a specialized court. Hernández’s lawyer has already told El País newspaper that he will appeal to this ruling.