The Constitutional Court (CC) of Ecuador announced on Wednesday that it decriminalized euthanasia in the country, after studying the lawsuit of Paola Roldán, a patient suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable and fatal disease.
The penalty for homicide “cannot be applied to the doctor who performs an active euthanasia procedure in order to preserve the rights of a dignified life and the free development of the patient’s personality,” the highest constitutional court said in a statement.
The decision was made with seven votes in favor of the nine members of the Constitutional Court.
The Ecuadorian Paola Roldan, 43 years old and who has been suffering from ALS for three years, filed a lawsuit last August against article 144 of the local criminal code that condemns the procedure as a homicide with a prison sentence of 10 and 13 years.
Through a team of lawyers, he proposed that the “conditional unconstitutionality” of that clause be declared in order to be able to die assisted without the doctors being punished.
On Friday, after learning that the Constitutional Court was in the final stage of the analysis, Roldán said on the social network X: “Several times I thought that I would not be able to see the fruits of this demand, like someone who plants a tree so that someone else can sit under its shadow.”
“But I have survived and now I want to see if the blood of justice and humanity runs through the veins of this country, or if we continue in the retrograde thinking that exalts suffering. Gentlemen judges of the @CorteConstEcu, this resolution cannot wait any longer!”
In Latin America, only Colombia decriminalized euthanasia in 1997. The parliaments of Uruguay and Chile are discussing projects in this regard, while in Mexico there is the so-called “good death” law, which authorizes the patient or his family to request that life not be prolonged by artificial means. .