In a historic decision this Thursday, the 11th Constitutional Court of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima, Peru, ordered the country’s Ministry of Health to respect Ana Estrada Ugarte’s will to end her life through euthanasia.
In Peru, the voice for euthanasia has its own name: Ana Estrada Ugarte, 44, the first person to publicly demand its legalization.
Ana Estrada Ugarte is a psychologist who suffers from incurable and progressive polomyositis since the age of 12. The disease became more complicated as of 2015 and now she is bedridden most of the day and needs permanent assistance.
The woman started a legal battle to legalize euthanasia and inspired a bill. “Not having a law does not mean that there is no right. There is a right, but there is no law. I hope that this right will be recognized, my right to decide when to die with dignity ”, said Ana Estrada Ugarte, quoted by German wave.
Your body becomes paralyzed as polymyositis, a degenerative and irreversible disease that weakens your muscles, progresses. Ana Estrada says that she does not want to kill herself, but that she needs the freedom to say “enough” when her irreversible disease forces her to extend life in unbearable conditions.
“I know it’s difficult to understand, but I don’t want to die. I am well attended and at a time of great achievement, as this campaign led me to discover resources that I did not have ”, explained Ana Estrada Ugarte, in her blog“ Ana seeks dignified death ”, where she tells her story.
In 2016, her illness locked her in the hospital for almost a year, from which she left with a permanent tracheostomy on her neck. “I wanted to die there because it was a very severe trauma. I had lost everything and my life had changed completely, but I had a treatment and then the lucidity returned. I transformed that ‘I want to die’ into ‘I want my right to die with dignity ”, he explained.
Ana Estrada Ugarte put the uncomfortable debate on the table in Peru, a deeply conservative country where assisted death, classified as merciful homicide, is criminalized with up to three years in prison.
The request demanded the suspension of the sentence and that the State elaborate the protocols for the moment when Ana Estrada Ugarte requests the euthanasia. The hearing was held on January 7, after more than a year of waiting, and it was “a small victory”For the Peruvian woman, who, in an emotional appeal, overturned the prejudice that her claim is the result of a depression.
Lima ordered the Ministry of Health and Social Security to “respect the decision” of Ana Estrada Ugarte “to end his life through a technical euthanasia procedure”.
The decision provides for the “Inapplicability of Article 112 of the Penal Code” which prohibits assisted death. The court indicated that denying the death assisted by Ana Estrada Ugarte affects “the rights to dignity, autonomy, free development of his personality and the threat of not undergoing cruel and inhuman treatment”.
The ruling said that “euthanasia must be understood as the action of a doctor to directly supply (oral or intravenous) a medicine destined to end your life”, according to the decision released by the court.
The decision can generate great controversy no Peru, a predominantly Catholic country, since the Church rejects euthanasia.
Maria Campos, ZAP //