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Ramón Sampedro: Wikis

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Ramón Sampedro (January 5, 1943, Porto do Son – January 12, 1998) was a ship fisherman from Galicia, Spain, who became a quadriplegic in a diving accident at the age of 25 and fought for his right to an assisted suicide for the next 29 years.

His argument hinged on the fact that he was sure of his decision to die. However, owing to his paralysis, he was physically unable to commit suicide without help. He argued that suicide was a right that he was being denied, and he sought legal advice concerning his right to receive assistance to end his life, first in the courts of Spain, where his case attracted country-wide attention. Eventually, his fight became known worldwide.

Death and aftermath

Sampedro died on Monday, January 12, 1998, in Boiro, Spain, from potassium cyanide poisoning. Several days later, a close friend of Ramón, Ramona Maneiro, was arrested and charged with assisting his suicide but was released due to lack of evidence. No further charges were ever filed in connection with Ramón's death.

Seven years later, after the statute of limitations had expired, Maneiro, speaking on a Spanish talk show, admitted to providing Sampedro with a cyanide-laced drink and a straw. She said "I did it for love." She also said she had turned on the video camera that recorded Ramón's last words before he drank the poison and that she was in the room, behind the camera.

Mar adentro

The story of Sampedro's life and death was made into a Spanish film, Mar adentro (English title: The Sea Inside) (2004), in which he was portrayed by Javier Bardem. The movie drew international attention and won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 77th Academy Awards.

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