Mum's euthanasia despite not being terminally ill provides insight into final days
A Colombian woman suffering from a degenerative disease is scheduled to become the country's first non-terminal sickness patient to be euthanized.
Martha Sepulveda, 51, has Motor Neurone Disease (MND), which, despite significantly reducing life expectancy, is not considered a terminal illness.
Martha has been afflicted with MND for three years, a neurodegenerative illness that leads in the death of motor neurons that drive voluntary muscular movements.
Martha sought euthanasia on July 27, just four days after the Constitutional Court granted the right to euthanasia to persons who suffer "extreme physical or mental suffering as a result of bodily damage or a serious and incurable disease."
According to the news site La Fm, she was scheduled for the treatment on Sunday, October 10.
“I am completely composed. I am a devout Catholic and a firm believer in God, but God does not want me to suffer, and I believe he does not want anyone to suffer,” Martha told Caracol Television.
“No parent wishes to watch his or her children suffer.”
Apart from her mother, she stated that everyone has supported her in making the decision.
“My mother is 83 years old, she is extremely lucid, and I believe she believes that way because of the religious issue,” Martha explained.
The Catholic Church has frequently condemned euthanasia on the grounds that all human life is sacred and that acts such as euthanasia and abortion violate God's will.
Martha stated in the interview that she had been savoring her final days by spending time with friends and family.
Fredrico, her son, also supports her decision, which Martha says means a great deal to her given the terrible time he and the rest of her family are going through.
“I saw it as the greatest act of love I have ever committed because I require my mother, I want her with me in virtually any circumstance, but I am aware that she is no longer living but only surviving,” Frederico explained.
“Now I'm focused on making her happy, on making her laugh, on recollecting a little and on ensuring that her time on Earth, the time she has left, is as joyful as possible.”
Colombia's Constitutional Court decriminalized euthanasia for terminally ill patients in 1997 and expanded it to non-terminally ill individuals in July of this year.