Mexico Senate lets terminally ill refuse treatment

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican Senate voted on Tuesday to allow terminally ill patients to refuse further treatment so they can die of their own choosing, in a new blow to the Catholic Church.

Senators passed changes to an existing law that enable patients suffering incurable diseases and a life expectancy of under six months to sign a document before witnesses suspending treatment if medicines cannot provide a cure.

The move was supported by the ruling conservative National Action Party, but will likely receive a strong opposition from Church leaders.

In December of 2007, Mexico City’s leftist-dominated Congress passed a similar law.

Mexico is the world’s second-largest Roman Catholic nation and the Church has opposed similar right-to-die legislation.

Mexico City has become a vanguard of liberalism in Latin America by backing gay civil unions and the legalization of abortion last year.

(Reporting by Adriana Barrera)

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