The Colombian House of Representatives did not reach the number of votes necessary to approve a bill proposing euthanasia regulation, which for many citizens is good news.
According to the national media El Tiempo, this part of the legislative process is pending since 1997—the year in which the Constitutional Court decriminalized euthanasia on April 8.
The bill was presented by congressman Juan Fernando Reyes Kuri of the Liberal Party. It which was shelved once more because it did not reach the 85 votes required to become law.
Before this bill that was shipwrecked, 12 other bills had previously been presented. None were approved due to different circumstances.
“I defend life from the moment of conception until its natural termination,” said Representative Juan Espinal.
He was seconded by Congressman Erwin Arias, who mentioned that even suicide would be referred to with this project.
“This is a project that opens the door to death. To die with dignity is, precisely, that life is the fundamental right,” stated Arias.
Arias said, “The 1997 ruling does not say that we have to regulate euthanasia, but [we must] regulate the right to die with dignity, and this Congress has been doing so, that is why I remind you, law 1733 of 2014, the law on palliative care,” Arias clarified.
He added, “And there are other alternatives such as orthothanasia, palliative care, comprehensive pain care. That is what has to be offered to a terminal patient,” he said.
The alternatives dismantle the complaints of Colombians who insist the pain of those suffering from devastating diseases is ignored.
The councilman of Bogota, the country’s capital, Emel Rojas, celebrated the news through a message on his Twitter account @EmelRojasC.
“Euthanasia regulation was sunk in the Congress of the Republic. Life won,” Rojas wrote.
He added: “Great news for Colombia!”.
“Life and morality won…” said @Misaelbtter about the sinking of the controversial bill on his Twitter account.
The socialist government of Argentina wants to obtain a new political victory by sanctioning the so-called Alfonso Law, which would legalize euthanasia in the country.
Their idea was for the national Congress to discuss the issue before the end of the month and for it to become law before the legislative elections.
On the international scene, at the 70th General Assembly held in Europe, specifically in Tbilisi, Georgia, the World Medical Association (WMA) reiterated that both euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide violate “the principles of the ethics of medicine.”
It is defined in a revised statement—after an intensive process of analysis and consultation with medical and non-medical personnel from around the world—that the primary mission of health professionals, on the contrary, is to focus on and “maintain the utmost respect for human life.”
“The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide,” the WMA said.
In this context, it pointed out that “no physician should be forced to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide” or obliged “to make decisions” on such matters.