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Psychologist becomes first person in Peru to die by euthanasia

LIMA, Peru (AP) — A Peruvian psychologist who had an incurable illness who weakened her muscles and left her bedridden for several years died by euthanasia, her lawyer said Monday, becoming the first person in the country to win the right to die with medical assistance.

Ana Estrada fought for years in Peruvian courts for the right to choose to die and became a celebrity in this conservative country where euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal.

In 2022, Estrada won an exception from the country’s Supreme Court, which upheld a lower court ruling giving Estrada the right to decide when to end her life, and said those who helped her would not would not be punished. Estrada became the first person to obtain the right to die with medical assistance in Peru.

“Ana’s fight for her right to die with dignity helped educate thousands of Peruvians about this right and the importance of defending it,” her lawyer, Josefina Miró Quesada, said in a statement. “His fight transcended the borders of our country.”

Estrada, 47, suffered from an incurable disease called polymyositis that causes muscle wastage. She began showing symptoms as a teenager and began using a wheelchair at the age of 20 because she had lost the strength to walk.

Estrada earned a degree in psychology and became a therapist. She earned enough money to buy her own apartment and became independent from her parents.

However, in 2017, Estrada’s condition worsened and she could no longer get out of bed. She had difficulty breathing and survived pneumonia. And even though she didn’t know how to type, Estrada used transcription software to create a blog called “Ana for a Death with Dignity,” in which she talked about her struggles and her decision to seek euthanasia. .

“I’m not free anymore,” she said in a 2018 interview with the Associated Press. “I’m not the same person I was before.”

With the help of Peru’s human rights ombudsman, Estrada won a court case that gave him the right to die by euthanasia. From her bed, she participated in court hearings via video conference.

Estrada told judges in 2022 that she valued life and did not want to die immediately, but wanted the freedom to decide when to end her life.

“I want to access euthanasia when I can no longer bear the suffering in life,” she said. “And when I decide to say goodbye to my loved ones in peace and quiet.”

Only a handful of countries have legalized euthanasia, including Canada, Belgium and Spain. Some US states, including Maine and Oregon, authorize physician-assisted suicidewhere a doctor provides a terminally ill patient with the means to end their life.

Euthanasia is illegal in most Latin American countries, with the exception of Colombia, which legalized it in 2015, and Ecuador, which legalized it in 2015. decriminalized the practice in February.


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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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