Mexico City legalizes right to euthanasia

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/1/6 14:03:16

Mexico City has become the first entity within Mexico to legalize euthanasia, after the issue was approved Wednesday by the city's constitutional assembly.

"This is a law that is moving forward in many countries. We also believe that if a person has the right to live with dignity, they also have the right to die with dignity. This law was the right decision," said Jesus Ortega, a lawmaker from the Party of the Democratic Revolution).

"A patient in a terminal condition and in pain must have the option of bringing their death forward," Ortega added.

Euthanasia is a controversial subject around the world. In Mexico, 68.3 percent of people are in favor of allowing people to choose the moment of their death, according to a national poll taken last year by Muerte Digna, an organization fighting for the right to euthanasia.

The poll also showed that 58.3 percent of respondents would support a doctor giving a cocktail of lethal drugs to a patient who wishes to die without difficulty, while 56.3 percent would support a patient taking the drugs themselves.

However, the poll found that only 50 percent of doctors would agree to this practice and that 50 percent would not be willing to help somebody die.

The right to euthanasia will be enshrined in Article 11 of Mexico City's new Constitution, which will come into force in 2018.

In January 2016, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a law, allowing Mexico City to have its own local constitution.

In 2008, Mexico legalized "passive euthanasia", namely,the right for terminally ill patients to ask that treatment be stopped and life-support machinery be switched off.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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