Colombia’s Constitutional Court asks Congress to regulate assisted suicide

The Constitutional Court of Colombia has requested Congress for the seventh time to legislate and facilitate access to dignified death, in this case it has demanded the regulation of medically assisted suicide that the Court recognized in a sentence issued in May of this same year.

The right to die with dignity is not new in Colombian law, but was recognized as fundamental and decriminalized by the Constitutional Court in 1997 and in 2014 it first requested the Ministry of Health to regulate access so that it could be extended to the public health system, according to the newspaper ‘Cambio’.

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As a result, access to palliative care, voluntary interruption of medical procedures and euthanasia was recognized, although in order to exercise the latter it was necessary to: manifest the free desire to do so, have a serious or incurable injury or illness, and suffer from physical or psychological pain that does not allow the person to lead a dignified life.

However, there was no room for assisted suicide, which is what the High Court is now requesting, although this is not criminalized in the country either by the 1997 ruling, although health personnel are in no way obliged to carry it out.

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