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Montevideo, April 22nd 2021 - 11:44 UTC

 

 

Peruvian justice makes exception and authorizes euthanasia to psychologist

Friday, February 26th 2021 - 09:10 UTC
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The woman, a psychologist and activist for a dignified death, has suffered for more than 30 years from polymyositis - an incurable inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness The woman, a psychologist and activist for a dignified death, has suffered for more than 30 years from polymyositis - an incurable inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness

Peru authorized for the first time to respect the decision of a psychologist to end her life when she deems it convenient and ordered the medical authorities to elaborate a protocol for the fulfillment of her wish.

Judge Jorge Ramirez, of the Superior Court of Lima, said in his ruling that the professional who helps Ana Estrada, 43, to die will not be punished with three years in prison, as established by law. The authorization does not open the possibility of more euthanasias but will only be applicable to Estrada's case.

The woman, a psychologist and activist for a dignified death, has suffered for more than 30 years from polymyositis - an incurable inflammatory disease that causes muscular weakness - which has paralyzed almost all her muscles. Despite this, she studied and practiced her profession until four years ago when deterioration forced her to stay in bed most of the day.

“It's not about wanting to die but, on the contrary, to live this chapter of my life with everything, as I have always done, making my own decisions.” Ana Estrada In her apartment in a middle-class neighborhood of the capital, Estrada is assisted by nurses and for two years she has been writing a blog entitled “Ana for a dignified death” where she tells the reasons that led her to make that decision.

“A big door has opened for me,” Estrada told RPP radio after learning of the sentence. “It is not about wanting to die but, on the contrary, to live this chapter of my life with everything, as I have always done, making my own decisions,” she indicated.

In 2019 Estrada wrote that “dignified death in Peru is illegal, I live in a State that takes away my freedom and a life without freedom is not life because my body belongs to this State.”

In 2020, supported by the Ombudsman's Office, she filed an amparo action to die with dignity when she wishes. The judge ordered in his sentence that Estrada's decision “must be executed within 10 working days from the moment she expresses her will to end her life”.

Euthanasia is not permitted in Peru and is punishable by up to three years in prison for anyone who helps another person to die who requests it.

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