Colombia legalizes medical-assisted suicide

Constitutional Court Colombia medical-assisted suicide was decriminalized this WednesdayUnlike euthanasia, it is the patient who performs the action to end his life. The Supreme Court decided to legalize this procedure with six votes in favor and three against, after examining the case filed by the Laboratory for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (DescLAB).

The case, which the Constitutional Court accepted on September 1 last year, nevertheless wanted to declare the conditional applicability of the second paragraph of Article 107 of the TPC, which stipulates a prison sentence of between 32 and 108 months. “effectively encouraging another to commit suicide or providing effective assistance to him or her to do so”. The article adds, “When the duty or assistance is aimed at putting an end to intense suffering resulting from bodily injury or serious and incurable illness, he is sentenced to imprisonment of between 16 and 36 months.”

Accordingly, DescLab’s purpose is not “to carry out assisted suicide by any person in any circumstance”, but rather that the Court “provides assistance to a medical professional in ending the life of another person, under certain circumstances, will not be penalized“.

The Court therefore decided to decriminalize physician-assisted suicide when the person expressed free, informed and express consent; you have a serious and incurable bodily injury or illness; suffers physical and psychological pain incompatible with his dignity and is given death aid by a healthcare professional.

difference with euthanasia

DescLab states that “unlike euthanasia, where a medical professional causes the death of the person, through physician-assisted suicide, the medical professional provides help or assistance. so the person who caused the death of the person“Both euthanasia and medical-assisted suicide have the same goal of causing the death of a person who meets legal requirements. The difference is the doctor’s role and who caused the death.”

In line with this, DescLab research director Lucas Correa Montoya pointed out that “along with euthanasia, there is a new mechanism that will enable us to achieve a medically assisted, free, safe and accompanying death.” “This decision is a global landmark, because the decision in favor of DescLab’s case puts Colombia in the place of the most developed states and countries in this regard,” Correa said.

euthanasia in Colombia

Victor Escobar, 60, suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and hypertension, among other problems. first Colombian to be euthanized without becoming terminally ill Since the Constitutional Court allowed it last July. Colombia was the first country in Latin America to decriminalize euthanasia and is one of the few countries in the world where it was legal after the Constitutional Court in 1997 recognized honorable death as a fundamental right in the event of a terminal illness in which the patient suffered greatly. . will voluntarily request and be performed by a doctor. According to the Ministry of Health, only 178 euthanasia procedures were carried out in the country from April 2015 to October 15, 2021.

Source: Informacion


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