Law in Colombia

On May 20, 1997, Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled that penalties for mercy killing should be removed and doctors be permitted to end patients’ lives by euthanasia.  (Republic of Colombia Constitutional Court, Sentence # c-239/97, Ref. Expedient # D-1490, May 20, 1997.)
Text of Court Decision

However the decision was to be delayed until guidelines for the practice were approved by the Colombian Congress.

The guidelines were not approved until 18 years later, on April 20, 2015, paving the way for doctors to practice euthanasia by lethal injection.


“Right to Die: ‘Dr. Death’ ends life with government backup”
(Manorama online –July 4, 2015)
Dr. Gustavo Quintana walks out of a modest, two-floor apartment building in southern Bogota.  Inside his black doctor’s bag are vials containing anesthesia and muscle relaxants, a syringe and a rubber tourniquet.  The man known in Colombia as Dr. Death has just ended the life of his 234th patient.

“Colombian Public Doctors Must Now Provide Euthanasia By Law”
(Pan Am Post — June 4, 2015)
A new ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court means that public health institutions, and all the doctors who wok in them, will be unable to refuse a patient’s request for assisted suicide.

“Step closer to legal euthanasia”
(The Bogota Post — May 10, 2015)
The measures make Colombia part of an exclusive list where euthanasia is legal — along with the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg….In the case of unconscious patients, family members need to prove that their loved one has expressed their desire to end their life, be it in writing or by means of audio and video.

“Colombia just legalized euthanasia.  Here’s why that’s a big deal”
(Global Post — April 29, 2015)
Euthanasia is when a third party actually administers the fatal dose, usually by fatal injection….Colombia’s constitutional court actually ruled in favor of euthanasia back in 1997…The Health Ministry’s new protocol finally puts the court ruling into practice.