Peru authorizes for the first time the euthanasia of a woman suffering from an incurable disease

Thursday, July 14, the Peruvian Supreme Court endorsed a preliminary decision authorizing Ana Estrada, a 44-year-old psychologist, to undergo euthanasia. Estrada was diagnosed at age 12 with polymyositis, a rare inflammatory disease that affects the muscles. It is a degenerative and incurable disease.

Five years ago, Estrada filed a lawsuit in hopes of being allowed to end her life “when the time comes”. In February 2021, the 10th Constitutional Court of the Superior Court of Appeal of Lima ordered the Ministry of Health and Social Health Insurance (ESSALUS) “to respect the decision” of Ana Estrada, “to terminate his life through the technical procedure of euthanasia.The Supreme Court voted 4-2 to uphold the decision.

Euthanasia is illegal in most countries; in Peru, abortion and euthanasia are prohibited. According to Peruvian law, ending the life of a terminally ill person or aiding in the suicide of a person is punishable by imprisonment.

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The Lima court ordered that “article 112 of the Penal Code” be “inapplicable” which prohibits assisted death. The code indicates that “euthanasia” should be understood as the action of a doctor directly providing, orally or intravenously, a drug intended to end his life.

According to Reuters, Estrada said of the decision, “It’s an individual case, but I hope it sets a precedent,” she continued, “I think it’s an achievement not only of mine, not only of my cause, but also an achievement of law and justice in Peru.

The Supreme Court’s decision to allow assisted dying is historic in this predominantly Catholic country. Colombia is the only country in Latin America that allows the procedure, but that it is only allowed under certain conditions.

The court ruling will also require Peru’s public health insurance to provide “all conditions” for Estrada’s assisted dying, and requires the procedure to be performed within 10 days of Estrada’s decision to terminate. in his days.

Walter Gutierrez, Estrada’s attorney, said the case “is irrevocable and allows Ana Estrada to be able to make the decision to end her life at some point.”

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