Film on Euthanasia-A True Story
Listed on the same program with technical lectures on various topics
in medicine and biology, Alejandro Amenábar's "The Sea Inside"
found screening time in the program of the Middle East Medical Convention
(MEMA). Though not a scientific movie, this moving dramatization of Ramon
Sampedro's life depicts the many ethical issues and varying viewpoints
on the topic of euthanasia. The film served as a powerful way of approaching
some important ethical issues in the medical field and provided a springboard
for discussions on related topics.
Ramon Sampedro became a quadriplegic at the age of 26. Using his still
very active mind, he began to fight for what he believed would bring him
freedom and peace: his death. It was Sampedro's belief that life is a
right and not an obligation, and that the individual should be allowed
to exercise one's right to live or die. He fought extensive legal battles
over the many questions that such a controversial topic inevitably involves.
He also spoke out through his writings. Both his legal and literary efforts
are depicted in the film, as are the different reactions of his friends
"The Sea Inside" makes it clear that the right to die is not
a quitter's way out. Sampedro was an activist, even while trapped in an
inactive body. MEMA participants became actively engaging in discussion
over the issue. In a question and answer session following the screening,
members of the audience were asked to fill out a survey indicating how
their knowledge or opinion towards euthanasia had changed because of the