Les députés chiliens ont approuvé en première lecture un projet de loi légalisant l’euthanasie et le suicide assisté dans le pays. Le texte doit maintenant être examiné par la chambre haute. Si les sénateurs adoptent le projet de loi, le décret d’application devra être publié par le ministère de la Santé dans les trois mois.
Above Santiago, the gray and heavy sky seems to have taken on the colors of mourning on this afternoon of April 20, 2021. The lower house of Parliament has just approved by 79 votes for, 59 against, and one abstention, a bill providing for a legal framework for euthanasia.
The text of more than 40 articles was submitted to MPs for consideration on April 14. Ambiguous in its title – “Death with Dignity and Palliative Care” - the bill was voted on four days later by a chamber that sits to the center-right of the political spectrum.
To pass the sugar coat the deal to the deputies, patients with mental disorders were excluded from the project during the debates. The future law will therefore apply to people over 18, suffering “from an incurable, irreversible and progressive disease, without possibility of response to curative treatments and with a limited lifespan.”
The patient must be “conscious and sane” or “have left advance directives explicitly stating their prior intention.”
Two medical specialists will be required to certify the serious and incurable nature of the pathology. In addition, a psychiatrist must certify that the patient enjoys all of his faculties.
The killing will be carried out in a medical center, by injection of a lethal substance: a gesture that can be performed by a doctor, or by the patient himself.
Rosario Corvalan, lawyer for the Community and Justice association, closely followed the debates: he regrets that the compulsory passage through palliative care was not retained, during the examination of the text, lamenting,: “they did not wanted to take into account the experience of institutions such as the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University of Chile, which demonstrates that palliative care reduces requests for euthanasia by at least 50%.”
The text approved by the deputies also rejected any intervention by the ethics committee within the health establishment, in the decision-making process leading to euthanasia: “it is serious, because these committees are primarily concerned by questions as sensitive as euthanasia,” Rosario Corvalan emphasizes.
Finally, the approved law stipulates that doctors and institutions that invoke conscientious objection in order not to apply euthanasia will have the obligation to refer the patient to another center, which Rosario Corvalan still believes is a violation. of “freedom of conscience, protected by article 19 of the Constitution.”
Above all, the project violates the inviolable rights of the Creator. While it is good to provide arguments of natural law, divine law must also be considered as the sole guarantor of this natural law. To forget this is to lose the very force of the arguments based on natural law which only have strength when supported and sustained by divine law.
The ball is now in the court of a Senate deemed conservative, but marked by the ideas of the liberal right in power in the country: if the law is approved, the government will have to publish the implementing decree within three months. Otherwise, the project will be abandoned.