Life Matters Media
Quality of life at the end of life

New Mexico Considers Physician-Assisted Suicide Measure

BY DANIEL GAITAN | daniel@lifemattersmedia.org

New Mexico could soon join a handful of states allowing physician-assisted suicide.

A controversial measure that would allow terminally ill New Mexicans to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs passed its final House committee Wednesday. It’s now headed to the House floor, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

House Bill 90, also known as the “Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act,” passed the House Judiciary Committee on a 9-3 vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.

If it passes the Legislature, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she will sign it. New Mexico would become the eight state to allow the practice.

Eligible patients must a life-expectancy of six months or less and be able to ingest life-ending medication on their own.

Dr. Steven Kanig, a retired New Mexico physician and delegate to the American Medical Association, said the New Mexico Medical Society has taken a neutral position on the bill, The Associated Press reports.

However, the Roman Catholic church and the state’s Republican Party are strongly opposed to the practice.

More than a dozen states are expected to consider this year legislation that allows the terminally ill to end their lives, the AP reports.