Thousands of signatures presented to Mexican Congress urging defeat of euthanasia bill

euthanasia Photo by Patrick Thomas / Shutterstock

Members and supporters of the Actívate (Get Active) platform presented nearly 6,000 signatures on April 18 to the Mexican Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the federal congress) expressing their profound concern and opposition to the legalization of euthanasia in the country, as it is contrary to the fundamental value of the right to life.

In an April 19 statement, the Actívate platform said that “euthanasia is a form of assisted death that has no place in a society that values life and human dignity.”

“The team had the opportunity to speak personally with Deputy [Rep.] Éctor Jaime Ramírez Barba about the aforementioned concerns. The deputy expressed his concern for the citizenry and promised to attend to the request,” the platform reported.

Cecilia Urrea, Actívate’s campaign coordinator, said that “we have come to deliver more than 5,800 signatures to the Chamber of Deputies to let legislators know that Mexican citizens don’t want to accept the initiative, the death bill, called euthanasia. What the public is looking for and proposing is that palliative care be bolstered.”

Speaking with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, Ivette Laviada, who holds a master’s degree in bioethics, said that the “‘death with dignity’ initiative that is proposed for debate in the Chamber of Deputies is completely contrary to human rights.”

“In Mexico, euthanasia and assisted suicide are expressly prohibited in Article 166 of the General Health Law and in Article 312 of the Federal Penal Code [CPF],” she added.

Laviada also pointed out that “the disguise that they want to put on active euthanasia [considered as helping or inducing suicide] as an act of mercy at the request of the patient to avoid suffering from a terminal illness has many angles that must be considered.”

“It is not the same thing to regulate advance directives in which a terminally ill person can in the exercise of his freedom decide what means, therapies, or procedures he wants to receive or not during the course of his illness, as to request that medical personnel or even a family member procure his death to ‘lighten his pain’ since as established by the CPF, whoever procures the death of another commits homicide,” she stressed.

Laviada also stressed that “a dignified death has more to do with accompanying the sick with quality care and attention without artificially prolonging life with disproportionate means and without hastening death.”

“When a doctor can no longer cure, he can accompany with palliative care,” she said. Necessary nutrition, hygiene, and medicines that eliminate or reduce pain should not be withheld “and the patient, if he so desires, should receive spiritual accompaniment.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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