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Man who shot four people ends life through euthanasia

A man, who shot four people before being severely wounded in a shootout with the police, has been euthanised in Spain before he was able to sit trial.

Eugen Sabau, 46, a former security guard in Tarragona, Spain, shot four people including a policeman after he went on a rampage and barricaded himself in his home in December last year.

After a shootout with the police, Sabau was left paralysed below his neck and had to have one of his legs amputated.

Late last month, the ‘Gunslinger of Tarragona‘, as the Spanish media referred to him, was euthanised under Spanish law on the grounds of the chronic pain induced by his injuries.

Courts rejected the victims’ appeals to prevent him from ending his life

Despite the protests of his victims who argued that he should have to face justice and be tried in a court of law, Courts rejected their appeals to prevent him from ending his life. The case went as far as the Constitutional Court, which refused to deliberate on it, saying there had been no violation of fundamental rights.

Sabau’s death was confirmed by penitentiary authorities on 23 August 2022. Neither Sabau’s lawyer nor prison authorities offered any comment.

Spain made assisted suicide and euthanasia legal in March 2021. The law allows assisted suicide for adults with a “serious and incurable” condition or a “chronic or incapacitating” condition that causes “intolerable suffering”.

According to El Pais newspaper, in the year since the law came into effect on 25 June, at least 172 people died via euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia in the UK

The sick and vulnerable are currently protected against assisted suicide and euthanasia in the UK.

A 2020 British Medical Association (BMA) survey showed that 84% of doctors in palliative medicine would not be willing to perform euthanasia on a patient should the law ever change.

Assisted suicide was most recently debated and rejected in Parliament in 2015 by 330 votes to 118.

A recent Irish study on ageing found that three-quarters of people over 50 who had previously expressed a wish to die no longer had that desire two years later, and that many who do express a wish to die, do so for non-medical reasons.

The state of Oregon also found 53.1% of patients who chose an assisted suicide were concerned with being a “burden on family, friends/caregivers”, 94.3% of patients were concerned with being “Less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable”, 93.1% were concerned with “losing autonomy”, and 71.8% were concerned with “loss of dignity”. Of the total who have died since 1997, only 27.4% have listed “inadequate pain control, or concern about it” as one of their end-of-life concerns.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: “Assisted suicide and euthanasia laws often remove protections for people with disabilities, the elderly and those who are otherwise vulnerable, protections that the rest of society enjoys. However, assisted suicide and euthanasia as a means to avoid going to a trial, as happened in the Sabau case, is probably rarely considered by opponents or supporters of such legislation”.

“Many people would feel that Mr Sabau should have undergone a trial and that his being euthanised ahead of a trial is an injustice to his victims”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.