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Victor Escobar is the first Colombian to receive euthanasia. Photo: Twitter @luiscgiraldo
Victor Escobar is the first Colombian to receive euthanasia. Photo: Twitter @luiscgiraldo

Victor Escobar, the first Colombian to be euthanized

Victor Escobar became the first Colombian to receive assisted death without suffering a terminal illness in Colombia. 

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On Jan. 7, Victor Escobar became the first Colombian to receive euthanasia without suffering from a terminal illness. 
 
Victor, 60, was denied euthanasia on Nov. 23.
 
"Everything fell apart for us," he told the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, after losing a legal fight for his right to a dignified death.
Escobar suffered for several years from a total of 17 illnesses and conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary hypertension, sequelae of a stroke, depression, reduced mobility and severe osteoarthritis. In addition, he was coughing blood and could no longer perform any activity on his own.
 
On Jan. 7 at 7 p.m., he finally got access to the procedure thanks to his lawyer, Luis Giraldo, who restarted the request process in December of last year. 
 
Escobar will go down in history as the first non-terminal patient to access the right to a dignified death in Colombia. 
 
Before going to the clinic where the procedure would be performed, Escobar sent a message to all Colombians going through a similar situation.
 
"Life is not bought, life is gradually coming to each one of us, I do not say goodbye and little by little we will find each other," he said.
 
He donated his functional organs and requested to be cremated on Jan. 8.
Euthanasia in Colombia 
In July 2021, the Constitutional Court changed the law on euthanasia in a historic ruling, where the high court eliminated the requirement of terminal illness. In other words, even if a patient has a life expectancy of more than six months, they will be able to request euthanasia from their EPS. 
 
Other requirements patients must follow to request this procedure are: to suffer at least one serious and incurable disease, to present an informed consent, and to be attended to by health professionals. 
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