Javier Serrano is first man from Madrid to be euthanized

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Javier Serrano suffered from ALS and had been waiting four months for the treatment

On Wednesday 3 November, Javier Serrano became the first person from Madrid to be legally euthanized under Spanish law. He had been waiting four months for the opportunity to pass as the Guarantee and Evaluation Commission that needed to analyze his case was only created two weeks ago. This commission must look at every case and decide whether to allow euthanisation to occur under the law that came to pass last June. 

Mr Serrano, 58, had been suffering from his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) since last year. Over the last few months, he had gone from walking with difficulty because he had issues with his legs, to not walking at all, and then not being able to sleep because of the pain his condition caused him. 

He was informed by his neurologist that his case had been evaluated and approved by the committee. The doctor asked Mr Serrano when he would like it to happen and he answered “tomorrow”. He said:  I did not want and could not take it anymore: “The pains are brutal, every day that goes by they get worse and I can’t even take them with morphine anymore.”

“I am convinced that I am going to die for dignity. I’m going, really, happy, happy. I know that when I lie down in bed and close my eyes … I’ve had 58 years to live.”

Wednesday morning he passed away, confirmed a spokeswoman for the Hospital 12 de Octubre. His doctors from this hospital, and his family, were there with him during his last moments. 

Mr Serrano had fought a long battle to get to that point. He admonished the Community of Madrid and said they were “lengthening” his “suffering”. “If this were happening to any of their relatives, it would already be working. They are lengthening my suffering. I have a lot of pain, I was counting on being dead two months ago.”

The Executive of Isabel Diaz Ayuso has been one of the last to ensure there is everything a person with this wish needs to apply for the Euthanasia Law. The law was passed last June but the commission with the final word began its operations on 19 October. 

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Written by

Claire Gordon


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