November 28, 2022

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Euthanasia | Martha Sepúlveda: Testimony of a son who helped his mother cause a “dignified death” in Colombia | Description | EC stories | The world

This note was updated on Saturday, January 8, after learning of the application for euthanasia.

Martha Cebulveda He plans to end his life at 7 a.m. on Sunday, October 10th.

See: Martha Sepulveda died of euthanasia in Colombia

Although she was facing death, she was smiling in front of the cameras as she ate bacon and drank beer with guacamole at Madeleine’s restaurant.

He was precisely happy because he was able to get justice for granting approval for a treatment. Euthanasia.

However, the procedure was canceled at the last minute, according to a report by the Columbian Pain Institute on October 8, which was to be done.

According to the report, the Interim Scientific Committee on the Right to Die with Dignity “Unanimous decision to cancel procedure” When assessing his case it was determined that “the dismissal criteria were not met as considered in the first panel”.

Three months later, Martha’s wish came true. This Saturday, January 8, he was able to commit euthanasia after a long journey involving a legal battle.

In Colombia Euthanasia It was acquitted in 1997, but only became law in 2015. Since then, 157 procedures have been performed.

But last July, the country’s constitutional court extended the right to a dignified death for persons experiencing “serious physical or mental suffering” due to injury or trauma. Incurable disease.

And the death of Martha Sebulveda was the first case in which euthanasia was approved for a patient without disease.

Martha Cebulveda celebrated her 51st birthday in January. (Martha Sepúlveda).

Her life has been traumatic since she was diagnosed with acute and incurable disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

How do you know yours is going to be one? Slow and painful death For years, the future seemed heartbreaking.

Until one day he told his only 22-year-old son Federico that he wanted to fight for his euthanasia. And first he won.

Paradoxically, death resurrected him.

“My mother is calm and happy because they told her she could die because her life is really hell,” his son told BBC Mundo. Know last minute cancellations.

“I’m very lucky,” Martha Sepulveda told Karakal TV in her last televised interview. “I laugh a lot. I sleep quietly.”

“I’m a Catholic, and I consider myself very faithful God does not want me to suffer. “.

“If I have lateral sclerosis, the best thing I can do is go to rest.”

This is the testimony of his son Federico Redonto Cebulveda, who told BBC Mundo the first person. Last Thursday, October 7th.


In late 2018 my mom was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

She took it in a certain way. His reaction was laughter. he said “Look, I have this disease and I will die in three years”. But he said it was so much fun, so much fun, so much fun.

My mother has always been a very open person to death. She always said “I was not afraid to leave, but I was on my way to depart”, Which is why he sought recognition The right to a dignified death.

See: Martha Zebulveda, the first person to receive euthanasia in Colombia, without a final illness

(Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)
(Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)

She did not conceive of a bedridden life. The result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the inability to speak, the inability to swallow … something very painful and unworthy of her.

The diagnosis was taken for the very Olympics. Later, he began to lose strength in his legs, requiring support to walk more or less long distances. Then I needed support for all kinds of walks Even indoors.

Earlier this year, she needed support to get to the bathroom. Then, you have to bathe her and you have to dress her. Sometimes it was hard to eat or brush because her hands had lost so much strength.

The worst thing for her was how she degenerated to the point where she could not be free from the most basic activities of daily activities.

One day she told me: “It would be great if I could demand euthanasia”. And so on I didn’t take it too seriously.

But when he said he wanted to do it, I refused for a few days. I was saying, “No, not my mom, not yet”. Was saying, Mom please do not.

See: French activist Alain Cock dies after being euthanized in Switzerland

Martha and her son Federico.  (Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)
Martha and her son Federico. (Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)

I consider myself a very liberal person, I thought the right to euthanasia was a right to be protected, but I never saw it up close.

But then, knowing a little about her dangerous condition, her frustration, and the disgrace she was in, I said: “I think I will show more of my love if I support her in this decision she made”.

I need my mom and I want her to be with me in any situation. But in that case I will think only of myself and my needs.

We have been together for 22 years. My life revolved around her and she revolved around me. After you leave, I need to find another life. That’s why it was so hard at first.

When I took care of her, she had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I wanted it because I felt like I was giving my mom back, in a way, all the support she had given me for the rest of my life.

But I was also wondering what she was telling me. He told me: “Son, this is not life, it is unworthy”.

See: The Chilean Congress has taken historic steps to make euthanasia innocent

(Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)
(Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)

It is clear that I am sad. I’m clearly interested, obviously I’m … somehow pessimistic. It would be very strange otherwise.

But I am also somewhat comforted that my mother ended her life the way she wanted it to.

The day and time she wanted.

From a young age she said she did not want to be in bed and had to be completely dependent at all times.

We agree with that Have to decide to live Ever since sclerosis started to make my mom sick, she can no longer determine for herself.

Many are surprised to see her so calm and happy.

(Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)
(Photo: Martha Sepúlveda)

My mom is calm and happy because they said she might die because her life is really hell. She had never been like that before. Before I was pessimistic, sad, and with little hope for the future.

But now, My mom is going to die at 7am on Sunday. And is happy. He is happy to know that the euthanasia procedure is going to be applied to him.

Sunday will be a cremation, a charity will be celebrated and … that’s all, because basically he wants it.

I’m going to miss her so much. I believe there is nothing I can miss, because nothing is always the same. Anything.

From his smile and his cock and his good attitude to the good and bad in life … to his swearing.

I need everything.

*The conversation with Frederico, the son of Martha Sebulveda, took place on Thursday, October 7, before the decision of the Interim Scientific Committee on the Right to Die with the Dignity to Abolish Euthanasia was announced..


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