A proposed change regarding dignified death became law last night after Senate approved it with 55 votes.
With the change, “reliably informed” patients with terminal illnesses now have the right to end artificial life support, stop nutritional intake and hydration or refuse artificial resuscitation, when the procedures are extraordinary or disproportionate in relation to the prospect of recovery or cause “excessive suffering.”
The change also points out that, on the issue of “informed consent,” the patient can declare their decision themselves or through legal representatives after receiving all necessary information about the situation from the physician.
It also makes clear that the attending physician shall not be subject to civil, criminal or administrative liability.
In addition, children and adolescents have the right to intervene in the decision-making process regarding medical procedures and therapies.
The change affects Article 2 of law 26,529, which already stated “The patient has the right to accept or reject certain therapies or medical or biological processes, with or without cause, as well as to revoke later manifestation of the will.”
According to an article from the Argentine outlet Parlamentario, many senators voiced their approval during the discussions before voting.
Senator of the Front for Victory (FPV) Aníbal Fernández considered the law necessary to avoid “suffering until death comes.”
A distinct position from Peronist member Sonia Escudero warned of “therapeutic doubts.” She stressed that “If this law needs to be corrected with another law, not a good law.”
The Parlamentario also reported that Health Commission head and Radical Civic Union Senator José Cano said they must “respect the will of the patient with respect to their life.”