UN agencies denounce Mexico for proposed law allowing doctors to opt out of abortion, euthanasia

LifeSite News

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

April 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Three United Nations agencies are denouncing Mexico’s Senate for passing legislation that will protect the right of medical professionals to abstain from practices for which they have a conscientious objection.

Although the legislation covers any case of conscientious objection by a doctor or nurse, it is regarded as most applicable to medical professionals who do not wish to cooperate with anti-life procedures such as abortion, euthanasia, and sterilization.

The three agencies, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Office in Mexico of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights (OHCHR), together denounced the legislation for not requiring conscientious objectors to give referrals to doctors who are willing to carry out the medical practice at issue. . . [Full Text]

Mexican Senate approves medical conscientious objection bill

Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 26, 2018 / 06:14 pm (ACI Prensa).- The Mexican Senate has approved a measure protecting the conscientious objections of medical personnel who hold moral or ethical objections to certain treatments.

The decree, approved March 22, states that “professionals, technicians, aides, social service providers that are part of the National Healthcare System shall be able to invoke the right of conscientious objection and excuse themselves from participating and/or cooperating in all those programs, activities, practices, treatments, methods or research that contravenes their freedom of conscience based on their values or ethical principles.” . . . [Full text]

 

Mexico enacts provision protecting freedom of conscience for physicians, nurses

Sean Murphy*

Mexico has added a provision to its General Law on Health recognizing freedom of conscience of all physicians and nurses in relation to all services, except in emergencies and life-threatening situations.  In doing so, those responsible took note of existing provisions in The Bioethics Code for Health Personnel and The Code of Conduct for Health Personnel.  The latter includes a particularly striking passage:

32.  It should be emphasized that doctors are  professionals of science and conscience, and cannot be reduced to mere instruments of the patient’s will, since, like the patient, they  are free and responsible persons with a unique collection of values that regulate their lives.

There is no requirement for referral, which many objecting health care workers would find unacceptable because of concern that referral would make them complicit in what they believe to be wrongful conduct.  The new provision is specific to freedom of conscience and does not address issues of access and availability of non-objecting personnel, which will presumably be managed administrative measures or other legal means.