Governor vetoes protection of conscience amendment in Nuevo Leon

Sean Murphy*

A protection of conscience amendment to the health law of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon has been vetoed by the governor and returned to the state legislature with the government’s observations. These include an expectation of the inclusion of a requirement for mandatory referral by objecting health care workers ( which many would find unacceptable), and the inclusion of a requirement that institutions maintain non-objecting personnel on staff to whom the referrals could be made. News reports indicate that the veto was triggered by opposition to the amendment by homosexual and allied groups alleging that protecting freedom of conscience for health care workers would result in discrimination against them. [Milenio]

Under Articles 71 and73 of the Constitution of Nuevo León, the governor must review legislation and either approve it or return in within 10 days for  reconsideration.  If the bill is approved by 2/3 of the Deputies after reconsideration, it must be approved and published by the Governor.

Church supports conscientious objection for medical professionals in Nuevo Leon

Catholic News Agency

Monterrey, Mexico, Oct 30, 2019 / 05:19 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López of Monterrey said Sunday he supports the reform of the Healthcare Law in Mexico’s Nuevo Leon state allowing conscientious objection for doctors and nurses.

Speaking to the press Oct. 27, Cabrera said that “conscientious objection is a universally established right; I think that sometimes the problem is how it is understood or put into practice.” . . . [Full text]

Protection of conscience law approved by Mexican state legislature

Sean Murphy*

By a vote of 35-6, the legislature of the Mexican state of Nuevo León, has approved an amendment to the state health law protecting freedom of conscience for “medical and nursing staff that are part of the state health system,” except in cases of emergency. The new provision was brought forwardby Carlos Leal the Social Encounter Party (PES). The amendment is already being attacked by groups claiming that it will allow discrimination against people seeking health care. [El Informador] [Associated Press]

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

LifeSite News

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

April 24, 2018 ( – 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.