By Michael Cook - Published by Bioedge
Colombia’s Health Ministry has finally drawn up guidelines for euthanasia, 18 years after the country’s supreme court ruled that it was a constitutional right. Health Minister Alejandro Gaviría told media that only competent adults would be able to request the procedure, that only patients with a terminal illness would be eligible, and that if the patient is unconscious, relatives must present audio, video, or written proof that he wanted to be euthanased. Minors and patients with degenerative diseases will not be able to receive a lethal injection.
Despite the 1997 ruling, Colombian law-makers dragged their heels on the issue and never drafted protocols. As a result, doctors feared that they could be charged with homicide if they helped someone to die.