Ramón Sampedro

Ramón Sampedro Cameán , born January 5, 1943 in the municipality of Porto do Son in Galicia ( Spain ) and died January 12, 1998 in Boiro , is a sailor , writer and activist of euthanasia .


At 19, Ramón Sampedro enlisted in the merchant navy with the intention of knowing the world.

Becoming quadriplegic as a result of an accident, he fought for twenty-nine years for the right to euthanasia . At the end of a long legal battle that did not allow him to be legally killed, Ramón Sampedro decided to put an end to his existence. On January 12, 1998, he killed himself with the help of eleven friends. None of his accomplices was accused, for Sampedro skilfully blurred the tracks, each with a secret mission that did not involve him definitely in the death of their friend: one had the keys of his home, the other bought the cyanide potassium , the next placed the glass on the bedside table, the fourth plunged straw and so on until the last who filmed Ramón, smiling, seconds before his death.

Her friend Ramona Maneiro was arrested a few days after her death but was not convicted for lack of evidence. Seven years later, as soon as the offense was prescribed, Ramona admitted on a television show to have facilitated for Ramón the access to the poison that had caused his death and to have recorded the video where he pronounced his last words.


Ramón Sampedro has written two books:

  • Cartas desde el infierno (literally Spanish from Letters from Hell ) published in 1996, groups his writings until that date;
  • Cando eu caia (literally Galician When I Fall ) is a collection of poems published after his death in 1998.


The life of Ramón Sampedro was brought to the screen in 2004 in the film Mar adentro by Alejandro Amenábar . Previously, in 1999 , she had inspired a Galician feature film entitled Condenado a vivir ( Condamné à vivre ).