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What does Cuba’s new Public Health Law propose?

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Since 2019, professionals from different specialties of the Cuban health system have been working on a new Public Health Law, whose draft will be submitted for analysis in the first quarter of this year with workers in the sector, deputies and the population in general.
The legislative proposal strengthens the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy, because although access to this practice in safe conditions has been guaranteed since the 1970s, it is not explicitly stated as a right in the current law.
Among the new issues are assisted human reproduction and gestational solidarity, which also allows access to these procedures to homoparental families, in accordance with what was approved in the Family Code.

It also highlights the recognition of euthanasia as the right of people to a dignified death, and as a form of health care and attention through a medical procedure.

However, its implementation also requires a higher-ranking legal provision.

It incorporates the concepts of One Health and the relationship between man and the environment, addresses the integration of multidisciplines, recognizes the planned economic-financial assurance of health services and introduces postulates contained in international treaties ratified by the Cuban State, according to the official website of the Ministry of Public Health.

The Communications team of the Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) explained in an interview granted to Cubadebate, that with the aim of offering medical care with a rights-based approach, what is related to informed consent will imply changes, by taking into account progressive autonomy.

The document establishes the right of individuals not to be subjected without their consent to exploration, treatment or exhibition for teaching purposes in any type of medical care, including gynecological care.

It ratifies public health as a right of the people, defends the constitutional guarantees of the people and introduces ethics and values as part of the training and practice of the profession.

A multidisciplinary and intersectorial working group, which includes 27 representatives from different sectors, agencies of the Central Administration of the State and mass organizations, is working on the elaboration of the regulations, which allows for a greater diversity of criteria.

Likewise, work is being done on more than 50 regulations to adapt them to this legislation once it is approved.

Law 41 on Public Health dates back to 1983, and it is necessary to update it according to current contexts, so as to guarantee the rights endorsed by the current Constitution.

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