Now, Colombia approves assisted medical suicide for seriously ill patients

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
Bogota, Colombia   Updated: May 13, 2022, 02:30 PM(IST)

Colombia has approved assisted medical suicide for patients (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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In 1997, Colombia decriminalised euthanasia. A high court in July 2021 expanded the "right to dignified death" for patients not suffering from a terminal illness. Euthanasia is where a doctor administers a life-ending pill to a patient 

Assisted medical suicide for patients has been authorised in Colombia on Thursday, media reports said. The move has made it the first Latin American country to come up with such a ruling. The measure can now be taken under the supervision of a doctor, as per a decision of a constitutional court. A seriously ill patient can now be helped by a doctor to end his own life. This can be done by taking a lethal pill. The person will not be charged or jailed, the country's apex court ruled.  

The court ruling, which was passed by six votes to three on Thursday, said, "The doctor who helps someone with intense suffering or serious illness and who freely decides to dispose of their own life, acts within the constitutional framework."  

Also Read: Countries where euthanasia, assisted suicide is legal

In 1997, Colombia decriminalised euthanasia. A high court in July 2021 expanded the "right to dignified death" for patients not suffering from a terminal illness.  

Euthanasia is where a doctor administers a life-ending pill to a patient.  

Since 1997, around 200 people have chosen euthanasia in Colombia, as per official data.   

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This has happened even when the nation is mostly Roman Catholic. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are generally opposed to the church.  

The difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide "is basically who administers the drug", as per the Right to Die with Dignity foundation (DMD).   

(With inputs from agencies)   

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