Colombian congress to debate bill that would regulate euthanasia

.- Colombian Senator Armando Benedetti, of the left-wing Social Party of National Unity, has sponsored a bill that would provide norms for the decriminalization of euthanasia, which the country’s High Court legalized in 1997 in cases of terminal illness.

Benedetti told reporters that euthanasia, or “assisted suicide,” should be requested by an adult or a minor who is “in full use of his mental faculties”—and in the case of a minor it should be endorsed by his parents or guardians.  However, the bill stipulates that “in cases in which an adult patient is unconscious and cannot express his wishes in writing or through any other means, his family members, or in their absence, the attending physician, shall be the one to make a written petition.”

The same would apply to minors who “have lost consciousness and cannot communicate in any way.” The bill proposes that “the attending physician, after consulting with the parents and obtaining their consent, shall administer euthanasia.”

However, the proposed bill would be in conflict with Colombia’s Medical Ethics Code, which states that doctors must “care for human life with the utmost concern and respect from the moment of conception.”

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