Faced with a terminal diagnosis, New Mexico residents deserve the full range of options for care at the end of life, including medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying allows terminally ill adults to get a prescription they can take to end their life peacefully.

On April 8, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the New Mexico Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act. New Mexico will become the 10th state and 11th U.S. jurisdiction to allow medical aid in dying when the law goes into effect on June 20.

The Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act is signed into law! Learn about everything that went into this monumental victory.

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Tools and Resources

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For Patients
Access the New Mexico Advance Directive

 

tools for end of life planning and decision making.

End-of-Life Planning
Use our step-by-step guide to chart your journey.

 

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Los recursos en Español
Los recursos en Español.

 

answers to questions about COVID-19, including treatment and end of life.

COVID-19 Toolkit
Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and end of life care.

 

tools for end of life planning and decision making.

Resources for Providers
Find resources tailored to the needs of healthcare providers.

 

What’s Happening Now in New Mexico

The Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act (HB 47) was introduced on January 7, 2021. On March 15, the bill was passed by the Senate, with floor amendments, with a 24-17 vote. With Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature on April 8, New Mexico will become the 11th U.S. jurisdiction to allow this proven, compassionate end-of-life care option when the law goes into effect on June 20.

On Feb. 5, the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board endorsed the bill, stating that end of life stories are “too powerful… to ignore any longer.” Editors reiterated their support on Feb. 28: “It’s time for New Mexico to join the nine states that give terminally ill patients a humane, medically supervised option…”

The bill was passed by the New Mexico House of Representatives with a 39-27 vote on February 19. It had been previously advanced by the House Judiciary Committee by a 7-3 vote and by the House Health and Human Services Committee by a 7-4 vote. Compassion & Choices CEO Kim Callinan submitted testimony in support of the bill stating, “Terminally ill residents don’t have the luxury to wait another session; they need the relief that this law affords them now.”

On March 1, The Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act (HB 47) was advanced by the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee with a 5-3 vote. This legislation would authorize medical aid in dying in the state. On March 14, the bill was advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 5-3 vote.

On March 15, The Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act (HB 47) was advanced by the Senate, with floor amendments, with a 24-17 vote. The bill as amended was reconsidered and passed by the full House. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the bill on April 8, and it will become effective on June 20.

Compassion & Choices works closely with the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition to educate New Mexicans about their full range of options at the end of life. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, we held events across the state, which included presentations on advance healthcare directives and informational tabling at health fairs and conferences. New Mexico’s rural outreach team presented to bilingual members of the Community Health Worker Association and has offered continuing education units in three different rural communities.