Peruvian woman dies by euthanasia after long legal battle

STORY: For three decades, Ana Estrada lived with a rare incurable disease that weakened her muscles.

She was bed-ridden and required a ventilator to breathe.

The Peruvian psychologist died by euthanasia on Sunday, after a lengthy court battle ended in a landmark ruling allowing her to end her life with medical assistance, her lawyer said.

Euthanasia is illegal in Peru.

Estrada went to court in 2016 to fight for access to an assisted death.

Six years later in 2022, the nation’s Supreme Court confirmed a ruling that gave her an exemption to end her life.

While the Supreme Court did not legalize assisted dying, it exempted the doctor who supplied the drug to end Estrada’s life from any punishment.

Estrada spoke to Reuters months before the landmark ruling:

“I had never imagined that I was capable of doing this. Facing such a complex and delicate issue here in Peru, where there had never been any talk of dignified death or euthanasia. So I feel proud, I feel happy to be accompanied and supported by so many people.”

Euthanasia is illegal in most countries including Peru, a deeply Roman Catholic country.

Under Peruvian law, assisting someone’s suicide and killing a terminally ill patient are punishable with prison time.

In Latin America, Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba have allowed the practice under certain conditions.

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