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New Mexico

Current Status

New Mexico State Representatives Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces) introduced HB 171, End of Life Options Act, a medical aid-in-dying bill, on January 20, 2017. The House Health and Human Services Committee passed the bill 4 to 3, along party lines, on February 3. The bill was then referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

A companion bill, SB 252, was filed in the Senate on January 30, 2017 by New Mexico State Senators Elizabeth Stefanics (D-Bernalillo) and 4 co-sponsors. On March 3 the bill passed in the Senate Public Affairs Committee 4 to 3. The bill was then voted down in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 14 and in the full Senate on March 15, on a 20 to 22 vote.

History

On January 13, 2014, New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ruled that physician-assisted dying is a right under the state Constitution. An appeals court overturned this ruling on August 11, 2015, and an appeal was filed to the appeals court ruling in the New Mexico Supreme Court. Oral arguments took place on October 26, 2015, and the State Supreme Court decided the challenge on June 30, 2016. The Court overruled a district court ruling that in 2014 proclaimed physician-assisted dying in the state a right, saying the matter should be resolved in the executive and legislative branches.

Physician-assisted dying is, therefore, not legal in New Mexico.

In the New Mexico state legislature, Death with Dignity bills were considered in 1995 (SB 446) and 2009 (HB 814).

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