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Ecuador’s Constitutional court approves euthanasia

by | Feb 12, 2024

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

This is another story of an activist court that makes a bad decision based on a hard case. 

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has approved euthanasia. As reported by on February 8, 2024:

Ecuador’s high court on Wednesday decriminalized euthanasia following a landmark case brought by a terminally ill patient.

In its ruling the court said it “considers that the issue raised relates to the rights to a life with dignity and the free development of personality. Therefore, after carrying out an examination, it concludes that life admits exceptions to its inviolability when it seeks to protect other rights.”

The penalty for homicide “cannot be applied to a doctor who performs an active euthanasia procedure in order to preserve the rights to a dignified life,” the court added.

The ruling directed lawmakers and health authorities to establish guidelines for the practice of euthanasia.

Seven of the nine judges of Ecuador’s Constitutional Court voted in favor of the decision.

The article stated that:

The lawsuit was filed last year by Paola Roldan, a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurological disease.

Roldan argued that people with serious and incurable diseases have the right to die with dignity.

While the court allowed lawmakers 12 months to draft the regulatory frameworks for implementation, Roldan was granted the right to an expedited process for euthanasia, albeit under strict conditions.

The court seems oblivious to the fact that they have approved of euthanasia, which means they have approved that doctors can kill their patients.

Ecuador is the second South American country where a high court decision overturned laws that protect people from homicide. Colombia, which neighbors Ecuador, had a similar high court ruling in 1997.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia