Cuba authorizes opening the way to euthanasia

Cuba authorizes opening the way to euthanasia

HAVANA, Dec. 24th. The National Assembly of Cuba gave the green light to euthanasia as part of the approval of a new Public Health law. The island is the second country in Latin America and the Caribbean to authorize the measure, after Colombia.

Cuba on Friday became the second country in Latin America and the Caribbean to open the way to euthanasia, after Colombia.

Cuba’s National Assembly gave the green light to the measure as part of the approval of a new Public Health law that updates the country’s legal framework for its free, universal health care system.

“The right of people to access a dignified death is recognized, through the exercise of end-of-life determinations, which may include the limitation of therapeutic effort, continuous or palliative care, and valid procedures that end life.” ” says the final draft of the legislation.

Euthanasia and medically assisted suicide, which most religions oppose, generate enormous controversy around the world, where only a group of countries allow their practice and some equate it with murder.

The Roman Catholic Church on the Caribbean island was not immediately available for comment.

At the Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology of Havana, the country’s main oncology center, Dr. Alberto Roque, a master in Bioethics, welcomed the measure and said that it establishes the “necessary, general legal framework, so that in the future the “euthanasia in any of its forms, that is, active euthanasia or assisted suicide.”

Cuban state media barely mentioned that the government would approve euthanasia and there was little public debate, although Dr. Roque said that would change once the rules are established.

Outside the Oncology hospital, nurse Suaima López, 47, who suffers from rectal cancer, said she was in favor of euthanasia in case she or other patients did not recover.

“If we could have a dignified death (…) at a certain moment when nothing can be done anymore (…) let me die peacefully, in peace and harmony,” she said.

Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, and some states in the United States also allow euthanasia and, in some of these countries, medically assisted suicide when there is great suffering but no terminal illness.