New Mexico Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill Passes House Judiciary Committee

Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act Advances to the House Floor
February 13, 2019

The New Mexico House Judiciary Committee today approved a bill that would allow terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable by a  9-3 vote.  The Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act (HB 90) now moves to the House Floor.

The House Health & Human Services Committee voted to pass the legislation on Jan. 28, by a 4-3 vote, and prior to the session city councils of Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque voted on bipartisan resolutions in support of medical aid-in-dying. Polling shows that 65 percent of New Mexicans support the legislation.

“The momentum behind the End of Life Options Act in the House is heartening. I am pleased that the Committees have taken swift action to advance it this legislative session,” said Rep. Debbie Armstrong, who chairs the House Health & Human Services Committee. “HB 90 will create vital end-of-life care options for terminally ill New Mexicans who need the peace of mind it provides now.”   

By advancing the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, the committee members have shown a commitment to improving end-of-life care for all New Mexico residents,” said Elizabeth Armijo, Regional Campaign & Outreach Manager for Compassion & Choices. “Courageous people living with terminal illnesses have urged their lawmakers to move this legislation forward. We are grateful for the work Rep. Debbie Armstrong, Sen. Liz Stefanics, and Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena are doing in support of medical aid in dying and hope that this bill advances in time to make it a reality for many of those living with a terminal illness.”  

Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena of Mesilla, said: “I thank my colleagues for advancing this important legislation. I trust New Mexicans to make their own the end-of-life decisions, without government interference. As a person of faith, I know we can each hold our own moral values about end-of-life options, while respecting the agency of  others to make their own private and complex decisions about their deaths.”

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