After the decriminalisation of euthanasia in Colombia in 1997 never was proper regulation introduced, until now. Senator Armando Benedetti drafted regulations that were discussed in a Colombian Senate Commission this month, a proposal that was approved by 11 votes to 5. Some of the criteria include
- only a medical professional can perform euthanasia or assist with a patient’s suicide;
- importance is placed on the state’s duty to protect life;
- rigorous procedures – including psychiatric assessment and counselling – must be adhered to before the patient can make an informed decision;
- only Colombian nationals or foreign residents can avail of the practice to prevent euthanasia tourism.
It is the first – positive ! – step in a row, with three more to come. DMD Colombia is maintaining an information movement to facilitate approval, but still there is nothing sure. A very recent poll showed only 44% of answers in favor [!!] of euthanasia and 52% against (poll was made by a specialized polling company among men and women of all ages).
The text of the new bill (in Spanish only) can be found here.
A (very informal and unofficial [!]) English translation of the law can be seen here.