Target: President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto
Goal: Reform end-of-life care to end needless suffering of terminally ill individuals
Tens of thousands of patients with terminal illnesses in Mexico suffer unnecessarily from chronic pain and discomfort due to the lack of end-of-life care. According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, lack of access to pain relief and other assistance, known as palliative care, is rampant in Mexico, causing many to endure severe agony until their last breath.
Estimates by the World Health Organization and the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance find that almost 600,000 people die every year in Mexico, with more than half of them being terminally ill individuals in desperate need of palliative care. People with terminal illnesses, such as AIDS, cancer, and acute heart disease experience debilitating symptoms that make the last weeks of their lives utterly intolerable. Coupled with the lack of palliative care, many terminally ill Mexicans are afflicted with unnecessary end-of-life suffering.
With palliative care mostly available in major cities, countless Mexicans have to travel long distances to obtain it, even when desperately ill. Many others never make it to the hospital, and die at home. Also, with just three major health insurers, palliative care service is currently only available in 17 out of Mexico’s 32 states, making it nearly impossible for those who live in outlying areas to access necessary end-of-life care.
Further, strict drug laws also limit accessibility to morphine and other opioid analgesics, essential for the treatment of moderate to severe pain in terminally ill patients. As a result of these hurdles, very few physicians in Mexico are even licensed to prescribe the medicines and not many pharmacies stock them.
Persons who are terminally ill should not have to endure more pain and suffering than they’ve already experienced, especially in the last weeks, days, hours or minutes of life. Sign the petition to encourage Mexico to implement healthcare laws that end needless suffering for the terminally ill.
Dear President Enrique Peña Nieto,
Almost half of the people who die in Mexico every year die suffering. They are the terminally ill and they deserve to be cared for. Mexico’s lack of palliative care for those diagnosed with terminal illness is appalling.
A cancer patient shouldn’t have to feel their cells being attacked by tumors, an AIDS patient should have access to morphine to combat the side-effects of their powerful medications, and no terminally ill individual should spend their last days at home, needlessly suffering, until they are no more.
It’s time that Mexico’s healthcare system received a major makeover. I urge you to implement health laws that make palliative care for the terminally ill mandatory and accessible. And revise drug laws to make morphine and other drugs more attainable for doctors treating terminal patients.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: imelenchon via morguefile