The Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act was introduced for the 2019 legislative session and sponsored by Representative Deborah A. Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Senator Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (D-Bernalillo). The bill was passed by the House Health & Human Services Committee, House Judiciary Committee and Senate Public Affairs Committee, it was not heard by the full House and Senate and did not become law.
At the start of session, all legislators received a copy of our New Mexico Storybook, which contains the stories of New Mexico advocates for medical aid in dying:NM_Storybook_2019_FINAL
The efforts of the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition were instrumental in passing resolutions in support of medical aid in dying in three of the state’s largest municipalities. On May 7, the Albuquerque City Council unanimously passed a nonpartisan resolution, followed by the passage of similar resolutions in September by the Santa Fe City Council and December by the Las Cruces City Council, respectively. The Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act was introduced for the 2019 legislative session on December 12, 2018.
In 2017 Representatives Deborah Armstrong and Bill McCamley carried HB 171 and Senator Liz Stefanics carried SB 252, respectively. Despite the monumental efforts of nearly 6,000 Compassion & Choices supporters and citizen advocates from across the state, the 2017 New Mexico End of Life Options Act was narrowly defeated on the Senate floor by a 22-20 vote.
In 2016, Compassion & Choices worked to help establish the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition. Coalition partners identified bill sponsors for the 2017 and 2019 bills. Coalition efforts were also instrumental in passing municipal resolutions of support in three of the state’s largest cities.
In the 1990s, then-Representative Liz Stefanics introduced a medical aid-in-dying bill that did not pass.