Euthanasia: The Chilean congress advances with the “dignified death” project

Chile is getting closer to the euthanasia law, since on Tuesday, the country’s Chamber of Deputies, approved the bill that consists of providing a painless death to those patients over 18 years of age who suffer from a terminal disease with euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Chilean senators are debating this initiative, which consists of a project known as “dignified death”, a project that has been in force since 2014 but had previously been denied. Yesterday, April 20, 141 disputed voted in favor of this bill.

On the other hand, not everyone agrees with this project, such is the case of the government of President Sebastián Piñera, so there is the possibility that the project will be debated in the Constitutional Court as confirmed by Juan José Ossa, secretary General of the Presidency.

As for the bill, it is divided or applied to two situations. The first is the case of euthanasia, i. e. when the doctor guarantees that there are no medical treatments for the patient who suffers from a disease and is given a drug that causes death, and second, assisted suicide based on providing the patient with a drug to take on their own.

As for the written project, it emphasizes that the patient has the right not to suffer from intolerable pain, to prevent life from being artificially prolonged, and to request medical assistance to die.

Many terminal patients are waiting to receive euthanasia since according to their doctors, they have no cure and over time they have developed new ailments and feel that they can no longer live like this. That is why they ask for death without pain and above all, dignified.

However, the bill also supports the doctor to refuse when the patient requests euthanasia or assisted suicide, and also that the euthanasia applicant must be the sick person himself and not a third party. If this project is approved, euthanasia can only be applied after two doctors have confirmed the patient’s terminal situation, he must be aware at the time of request and that the physical ailments can no longer be tolerated.

In this way, the project seeks to enforce the rights of patients suffering from a terminal illness, supporting them to refuse to receive treatments that extend their life artificially if that is their desire.

Chile is a country that has advanced a lot concerning its laws in recent years supporting citizens of the same sex to marry, abortion law, among others.

In which countries is euthanasia legal?

In the world there are seven countries where euthanasia is legal, which are:

Netherlands: It was approved in April 2002.

Belgium: It was approved in 2002 and it is also approved for children under 12 years of age in cases of a terminal illness.

Luxembourg: approved by Parliament in March 2009.

Colombia: was approved in 2014 by the Ministry of Health.

Canada: It was legalized along with assisted suicide in June 2016.

New Zealand: It was approved at the end of 2020.

Spain: it was approved in March of 2021.