A 60-year-old becomes the first non-terminal patient authorized to receive euthanasia legally in Colombia
Colombia legalized euthanasia in 1997, but only for terminal patients, those with less than six months to live. A historic Constitutional Court ruling in July 2021 changed the country’s rules making it also applicable to people who undergo severe physical and mental suffering due to painful and incurable diseases despite the disease being non-terminal.
Victor Escobar, who had an end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that left a significant impact on his quality of life, along with several other conditions, became the first beneficiary of the ruling.
Euthanasia, also known as assisted death, is the practice in which a doctor prescribes a lethal dose of a drug to help a person who has opted to die. People suffering from a terminal illness may want to be euthanized rather than endure a painful illness that will kill them.
In many countries, euthanasia is highly controversial and illegal. Some critics argue that God creates all life and that only God has the authority to take it away. Others are concerned that if euthanasia becomes legal, doctors will start euthanizing patients against their will.
Other countries that legalize euthanasia include Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, and Colombia.
Euthanasia is not a common practice. It is the last resort for those who request it. Few people die from euthanasia every year.