October 16, 2021

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Understand the world why Colombia allowed a sick woman to be euthanized this Sunday

Euthanasia, or aided death, has been legal in Colombia since 1997. That country legalized the practice in South America. However, this procedure is only valid for patients suffering from serious illnesses – that is, it is a way to alleviate the suffering of the person in an already undecided situation.

In July 2021, The Constitutional Court – parallel to the Supreme Court in Brazil – approved Extension of access to euthanasia for undead people. There were 6 votes in favor of this decision and 3 votes against.

This result extends euthanasia “whenever the patient suffers from severe physical or mental distress caused by bodily injury or incurable serious illness”.

That’s where Martha’s situation comes in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In an interview with the Colombian television station Caracol, he said he felt pain and lost movement in his legs, which was an obstacle in his daily life.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Photo: Chart: Karina Almeida / G1

In July, after the court’s decision, Martha applied for recognition and received it. At first, he would have wanted the euthanasia to take place on October 31st, but by October 10th – that is, this Sunday – until 7:00 am, he wanted to go public.

See also this article

  • What is euthanasia, and where else is it legal?
  • What will Martha’s last days be like?
  • Criticism of the church and the request of a bishop

What is euthanasia, and where else is it legal?

Protest against euthanasia in Madrid on December 17, 2020 – Photo: Susanna Vera / Reuters

Some countries recognize Active euthanasia, When the medical team agrees with the patient and / or family actively intervenes to reduce suffering in the patient’s life.

From helpless suicide, when a sick person receives medical help to die of his own free will, and from passive euthanasia, it is the interruption of treatment that keeps the patient alive.

This is completely different from prophylactic treatment, i.e. more invasive procedures to prolong the patient’s life are no longer performed and care is maintained so that the person’s remaining life expectancy occurs without pain and much suffering, often outside the hospital environment.

Active euthanasia is legal in the following countries:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • United States (some states)
  • Spain
  • Holland
  • Luxembourg
  • New Zealand

‘God does not want me to suffer’

“I’m a Catholic person, I believe in God a lot, but, I repeat, I do not want God to see me suffer, I do not want anyone to see me suffer. No parent wants to see their children suffer,” he said in an interview with Colombian broadcaster Snail.

“For me, death is a rest,” he adds.

Martha Cebalveda and son Federico speak to Colombian TV: Martha decided to commit euthanasia because of pain and loss of mobility due to ALS

To be a Catholic, Martha’s decision met with a lot of opposition within the church., Tends to take a stand against practice. When asked how he handles this in front of Colombian television priests, he responds:

The answer [que dou a eles] It’s the same: I do this because I suffer and trust in a God who doesn’t want to see me like this. For me, God allows me to do this, so if He wants me, He does not want to see me in this situation. “

Martha tries to enjoy the rest of her days with her family with beer and food. “I’m been quiet since this procedure was approved. Rio Also, I’m sleeping peacefully,” he told TV Caracol.

The 22-year-old son, Federico, admits he wants to keep his mother for a long time, but says accepting the euthanasia decision is the “greatest act of love” he has ever done. “In principle I need a mother, she should be with me, in almost any situation. But in her words she will no longer live, she will survive,” he said.

Bishop asks Martha to reconsider the decision

Like most Colombians, Martha declares herself to be very Catholic. That is why, Colombian church members ask him to reconsider his decision to interrupt his life this Sunday. Bishop Francisco Cepallos of Riohacha defended that “death cannot be a therapeutic response to pain and suffering under any circumstances.”

“My sister Martha said that she is not alone and that the God of life will always be with us, and that her tribulation can find a supernatural meaning, a call to renewed love,” the bishop asked. In networks.

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