El­derly man first to die by eu­thana­sia with gov­ern­ment back­ing

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIEDS/WORLD -

A 79-year old man suf­fer­ing from in­cur­able throat can­cer has be­come the first Colom­bian to die by eu­thana­sia with the full back­ing of the gov­ern­ment.

Ovidio Gon­za­lez died Fri­day in the western city of Pereira af­ter weeks of public feud­ing with doc­tors and hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tors over a Health Min­istry de­cree man­dat­ing that clin­ics per­form the pro­ce­dure when re­quested by ter­mi­nally ill pa­tients.

A con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing 17 years ago made Colom­bia the first and still only coun­try in Latin Amer­ica, and one of just a hand­ful world­wide, to al­low eu­thana­sia. But Congress never passed laws reg­u­lat­ing the pro­ce­dure, as the high court had or­dered, and in April the Health Min­istry in­ter­vened, pro­vid­ing the reg­u­la­tory guide­lines for in­sur­ers and hos­pi­tals.

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