Spanish girl dies in ‘dignified death’ debate

Madrid, Oct 10 (IANS) A 12-year-old Spanish girl who was at the centre of a debate over a “dignified death” died just four days after doctors stopped feeding her artificially.

Andrea, who died on Friday, had been suffering from a rare degenerative illness since she was a baby and had been hospitalised for the past three months, Xinhua news agency reported.

Last week her health deteriorated and Andrea’s parents, Estela Ordonez and Antonio Lago, asked the hospital to remove her feeding tube, holding that keeping her alive using artificial means was causing her suffering.

The hospital originally refused to do so and received the backing of the Galician health chief, Rocio Mosquera, who said the parents were asking for “active euthanasia”.

The parents took the case to court, which asked for four separate reports into Andrea’s condition.

Monday evening the hospital agreed to remove Andrea’s feeding tube, saying the change of opinion was the result of the 12-year-old’s rapidly failing health.

The act prompted Ordonez and Lago’s lawyer to comment that Andrea’s death “would be easier”, than her life had been.

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