As of 2018, active human euthanasia is legal in the South American country of Colombia. In this country, as per various medical and legal dictionaries, active euthanasia occurs when someone uses lethal substances or other forces to end a patient's life. The patient can act alone or use help from somebody else. The activity is clearly unlike passive euthanasia which is the act of hastening the death of a terminally-ill patient by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course. Passive euthanasia will often involve turning off respirators, halting medications, or discontinuing food and water so the patient dies because of dehydration or starvation.

In all or most cases, for active euthanasia to apply, four main conditions must be met: (1) the patient must be suffering from unbearable physical pain; (2) death must be inevitable and drawing near; (3) the patient must give consent; and (4) a physician must have exhausted all other measures of pain relief.

Countries throughout the world are still uncomfortable discussing the idea of euthanasia openly. Currently, including Colombia, active human euthanasia is only legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Canada. Authorized governmental officials will point out that assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the Australian state of Victoria, and in the U.S. states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and California.

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