BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine Supreme Court is reviewing a petition for dignified death by relatives of a man who has been in a vegetative state for the past 20 years, the Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday.
The sisters of the patient, who suffered an accident in 1994, are requesting that the treatments that have been maintaining their brother’s life artificially be suspended.
The case was first brought before a lower court in the southwestern province of Neuquen which ruled in favor of the family, but the prosecutor then presented an extraordinary appeal and it was forwarded to the Supreme Court.
Argentina has had a Dignified Death Law since 2012 which guarantees the right of terminally ill patients to reject surgery, medical treatment or resuscitation to prolong their lives and, if the patient is unable for physical reasons to express their desires, their immediate family members may do so.
Attorney General Alejandra Gils Carbo ruled on the petition filed by the sisters of the comatose man.
The decision regarding “the withdrawal, cessation and abstention from all life support measures that are keeping him alive artificially is specially protected by law, guaranteed by the right to personal autonomy,” whereby “one is free from the interference of the state and third parties,” the AG said in a statement.