A woman suffering from terminal ALS, who was slated to be legally euthanized by a Colombian clinic, found herself in a strange position after her operation was canceled by a Colombian medical committee just days before the scheduled assisted dying procedure as they claimed that she allegedly did not meet the criteria. 

Martha Sepúlveda Campo, a 51-year-old woman suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and her family were left shocked by the decision, with Sepúlveda’s son alleging that the committee reversed their decision due to the press coverage that her landmark case was receiving, the Daily Beast reported. 

The medical committee rescinded their decision after they calculated that Sepúlveda “has a high probability of expecting a life of more than 6 months,” when euthanasia patients usually only had six months or less to live, according to the New York Post

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative sickness that affects the nervous system, making it hard for people who have it to move and speak and function on their own. Despite that, patients can survive for years with the condition. 

Colombia, which legalized euthanasia in 1997, recently allowed non-terminally-ill patients to undergo the procedure, so long as they have “intense physical or mental suffering from bodily injury or serious and incurable disease.” Sepúlveda was one of the first people to be allowed euthanasia under this new system. 

Religious leaders across the country have condemned the expansion, saying that the government would rather offer the sick and dying euthanasia instead of promoting further care to those suffering from incurable diseases. 

“I am calmer since the procedure was authorized,” she said about the procedure. “I laugh more, I sleep more calmly.”

She was seen celebrating her supposed last days, smiling as she dined in a restaurant because she had received permission for the euthanasia procedure. This footage, which has been reported on by news agencies worldwide, may have contributed to the decision by the Colombian medical committee.

Her siblings and son supported her decision to be euthanized, though her mother had issues with the plan for religious reasons. 

“I need my mother, I want her with me, almost in any condition, but I know that in her words she no longer lives, she survives,” Federico Redondo Sepúlveda said. 

raghavendra-v-konkathi-v9Idw3hqkb4-unsplash Martha Sepúlveda Campo, who was scheduled to be euthanized, found it canceled by a Colombian medical committee just days before the procedure after she allegedly did not meet the criteria for it. This is a representational image. Raghavendra V. Konkathi/Unsplash.