Faced with a terminal diagnosis, when all options for treatment have been exhausted, New Mexicans deserve the full range of medically appropriate options for care at the end of life.
In 2020, we continue to grow our grassroots supporter base with events across the state that educate and empower New Mexicans to chart their own end-of-life journey. We are hopeful that a medical aid-in-dying bill will be introduced for consideration during New Mexico’s 2021 60-day legislative session.
On Dec. 12, 2018, 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 would have authorized medical aid in dying for terminally ill, mentally capable adults with less than six months to live, giving eligible patients the option to request a prescription for medication they could take to shorten a difficult, painful dying process. While 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.
In 2016, Compassion & Choices worked to help establish the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition and achieved many successes to strengthen support for the legislation. Coalition partners identified bill sponsors for the 2017 and 2019 bills. In 2018, our efforts were instrumental in passing resolutions in support of medical aid in dying in three of the state’s largest municipalities. In 2018, our efforts were instrumental in the Albuquerque City Council unanimously passing a nonpartisan resolution in support of medical aid in dying. See the press release here. On September 12, 2018, the Santa Fe City Council also passed a similar resolution. Read more here. On December 17, 2018, the Las Cruces City Council unanimously passed a similar resolution. Read more here.
Today, the End of Life Options Coalition continues to conduct outreach and education, secure meetings with influencers, obtain endorsements and garner support throughout New Mexico. We will continue to work in support of expanding options at the end of life and passing a medical aid-in-dying bill at the State Legislature.
As a volunteer with Compassion & Choices, you’ll join thousands of dedicated supporters who want to transform the woefully inadequate medical systems in this country and give people the options they want and deserve to chart their own end-of-life journey. Compassion & Choices is dedicated to improving care and expanding options for the end of life. Volunteers work diligently to build grassroots support for end-of-life autonomy. To join our efforts to pass a law in the Land of Enchantment, click here.