Family of Colombian woman denied right to die calls decision ‘disrespectful’ and ‘illegal’

Denying Martha Sepúlveda a dignified loss of life was a “disrespectful” and “unlawful” resolution.

That’s the opinion of the household and the attorneys of Sepúlveda, a 51-year-old Colombian lady, who was scheduled to die by euthanasia on Sunday morning. Sepúlveda would have been the primary affected person in Colombia and not using a terminal prognosis — anticipated to die in six months or much less — allowed to bear euthanasia.

Since 2019, Sepúlveda has suffered from intense ache and has misplaced the flexibility to stroll with out help because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a degenerative illness of the nervous system that impacts the physique’s mobility and is taken into account deadly, although loss of life might take years.

On Saturday afternoon, a day earlier than the process, a committee of the Colombian Ache Institute (Incodol) issued a press release saying that after reconsideration, they have been canceling the euthanasia scheduled for Sunday morning, stating that Sepúlveda’s case “doesn’t meet the termination standards.”

Sepúlveda’s members of the family lashed out on the resolution.

“This resolution is disrespectful and never presentable,” Federico Redondo, Sepúveda’s son, instructed reporters on Sunday. “They did the whole lot in secret and didn’t notify that they have been going to fulfill — the attending physician didn’t inform us.”

Redondo stated his mom was by no means evaluated by a medical committee earlier than reversing the choice, and the choice was taken with out taking the affected person into consideration.

An “unlawful resolution,” attorneys say

The Financial, Social and Cultural Rights Laboratory (DescLab), the authorized group representing Sepúlveda, rejected the facilities’ reversal.

“They are saying that Martha doesn’t have a terminal sickness. That’s an unlawful and arbitrary resolution,” the legal professionals stated. “The wrestle (of Sepúlveda) to take management continues.”

“By canceling the process and demanding a terminal prognosis,” the group stated, “IPS Indocol violated Martha’s elementary proper to a dignified loss of life, violated her proper to a dignified life.”

The lady, her attorneys stated, complies with the authorized necessities to request euthanasia: She suffers from a critical and incurable illness, says that she is struggling and has expressly acknowledged that she needs to die.

Sepúlveda has stated in earlier interviews that she was “completely happy” and “calm” to finish her life.

“God doesn’t need to see me undergo,” Sepúlveda, who’s Catholic, stated, arguing that, due to her worsening situation, “the very best factor that may occur to me is to relaxation.”

Colombia was the primary nation in Latin America to decriminalize euthanasia, in 1997, and it is among the few on this planet the place the process is authorized. However till this yr, it was solely allowed in circumstances the place the prognosis is terminal —  a life expectancy of six months or much less.

On July 22, the Colombian Constitutional Courtroom expanded the best, permitting the process “at any time when the affected person suffers intense bodily or psychological struggling.”

An earlier model of this story was initially printed in Noticias Telemundo.

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