REVISED MEXICAN HEALTH CARE LAWS—
and how it affects you.

By Jackie Kellum, RN

 

mexico-healthcareAs a nurse I am always interested in political decisions that affect health care laws and how those resolutions affect the citizens of the country. There seems to be usually two approaches when health care issues are involved – one side that is financial, similar to a “bean – counter” of a HMO; the opposite view-point is more humanitarian in an approach.

A fellow nurse and friend and I initiated a research project back in 2008 that dealt with the belief that a “Living Will” could not be made and a Durable Power of Attorney for medical decisions could not be chosen for those ex-pats living in Mexico. Like most   ideas, true or not, if you say it loud enough and long enough, it then becomes a fact, when indeed that is often not the case. After extensive interviews with Lakeside residents, business people and consultations with several physicians and Notarios, we learned that such documents could be created, but needed to be done in a particular way. I was co-author of four articles that were published in the Ojo July – October 2008 [Editor’s title: “Preparing for your Final Destination”] These were written to help people become aware that people can and should be in charge of their own life and health care decisions living in Mexico, rather than “ let things happen as they may.” In late 2008 there were presentations about creating Advanced Directives: Directive of Care [AKA - Living Will] and Statement of Authorization [AKA - Medical Power of Attorney] for those residing in Mexico. The meetings addressed these documents, the legal process and steps explaining how it can and should be completed, etc.

While working on this project, a newly presented law was undertaken by the Jalisco Mexican legislation for review concerning decisions about health care options for persons faced with a terminal condition. After what seems like a long period of time, this legislation has passed and it now addresses in great detail patient rights and the responsibilities of health care professionals when dealing with terminal conditions, palliative care and gives the legal right to have a “Living Will” created.

I was most impressed that this newly-enacted Mexican health law is comprehensive and reflects clarity and compassion. With this updated legal information, our documents created originally in 2008 have been updated, and are available on the website: www.lakesidelifemanagement.org The website also has an full English language translation of the new revised Mexican health care law. There is also a presentation about this update at the LCS Health Week Presentations on Thursday, July 15Th at 12 noon – 1:30PM in La Sala . A limited amount of copies of the updated Advanced Directive information will be available for a 10 peso copy reimbursement fee. You can also down-load these documents from the web site. You do not have to be a member to attend this meeting.

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