.- As part of their anti-life agenda, which has been successful in getting abortion legalized and homosexual unions equated to marriage, lawmakers of the Democratic Party of the Revolution (PRD) have put forth a bill that would legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients who manifest a desire to end their lives before a notary public and two witnesses.
âThe issue is not about death with dignity but rather life with dignity; itâs about having a life of dignity in better conditions and not therapeutic cruelty,â Representative Juan Carlos Beltran, the main sponsor of the bill, told the AP.
Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the idea behind the bill refers to âa right that all people should have, to be able to request that extraordinary means not be used to keep them alive. I think it is quite correct.â
Speaking after the presentation of a Report on Human Development in Mexico for 2006-2007, Cordova said, âThe issue should be discussed with the family and the patient should be in agreement.â âThe dignity of personsâ should be respected, he went on, âand their lives should not be prolonged when there is no hope.â
He suggested an ethics committee be established in each hospital to discuss possible cases, âas we must be very cautious in order to ensure that there is in fact no chance of recovery, since medicine is not an exact science.â
Cordova explained that the new norms would allow âthe patient to decide whether or not to allow extraordinary means to remain alive, without the need of consulting his family members, and therefore the process will be simpler.â
The law would require that the patient be in the terminal phase of his illness, that he has been diagnosed with a maximum of six months to live and that he, or his family if he is incapacitated, has given his consent.â
Representative Beltran said the bill would be sent to the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City this week for review in committee, before finally being sent to the main body during the next session in September.