Mexico City Legislators Want to Legalize Euthanasia After Abortion Victory

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mexico City Legislators Want to Legalize Euthanasia After Abortion Victory Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 20
, 2007

Mexico City, Mexico ( — After successfully passing a bill to legalize abortion, lawmakers in the nation’s federal district are now hoping to legalize euthanasia as well. The measure would legalize so-called passive euthanasia but pro-life advocates worry doctors would eventually actively kill patients.

The Democratic Revolution Party, which was behind the abortion bill filed on Wednesday, is the main sponsor of the euthanasia legislation.

Their measure would allow terminally ill patients to refuse any medical care that would prolong or extend their lives. Family members could make the decision in cases of patients who are unable to make their own choice — hearkening to the international debate about Terri Schiavo.

Any law the Mexico City legislative assembly would approve applies only to the Federal District and would not legalize euthanasia nationwide.

The legislation says physicians who want to withhold food and water from patients — which is not considered extraordinary medical care by pro-life advocates — would be given legal protection.

Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach director for National Right to Life, told he’s not surprised the euthanasia bill has been filed on the heels of the abortion measure.

"They are trying to pass a law that would align Mexico with the bloody brotherhood of nations who bring fear into the elderly and infirm by defining the dispensing of food and water to a patient as extraordinary medical care," he said.

"Euthanasia cannot be controlled, and the citizens of Mexico City need to let their representatives know that enough is enough," he added.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Eckstein, the founder of the Compassionate Healthcare Network, which promotes a pro-life health care ethic in Canada, said she’s not surprised the bill has been filed.

"I said not too long ago that we would no doubt be seeing a euthanasia bill in Mexico," she said about the measure.

"They are muddying the waters calling it ‘passive,’ but once classified as euthanasia passed there’s no turning back," she explained. "The request for euthanasia for whatever reason is going to be available, as it is in the Netherlands."

The Catholic Church, which led the fight against the abortion ban and is supporting a legal challenge to it, condemned the euthanasia measure.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, the archbishop of Mexico, condemned the bill in an interview with the Catholic news agency Zenit.

"Euthanasia is one thing," the cardinal said, "dying well is another."