CULTURE

The story of Ramon Sampedro

Ramon Sampedro, a sailor born in 1943 in Corunia, was left paralyzed from the neck down by a diving accident. He was bedridden for 27 years and when he decided he wanted to end his life, he asked the courts to grant him the right but was turned down. In 1996, he published «Letters from Hell,» which explained his reasons for wanting to die and which sparked worldwide public interest in his case. A small circle of close family and friends helped him find a dignified end on January 12, 1998, provoking an onslaught of controversy in Spanish public opinion. The people nearest to him were arrested as accomplices to suicide, but released just a day later after 10,000 people signed a statement saying they too had helped Ramon die.