Latest News:

New Mexico

Summary

Death with dignity legislation succeeded in three legislative committees this year; two House and one Senate committee passed the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act. However, the bill did not come up for a vote in either legislative chamber.

We are proud to support advocates on the ground who are already laying the groundwork for the next session.

Current Status

On December 19, 2018, New Mexico State Representative Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) pre-filed HB 90, Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act. Soon after, New Mexico State Senator Liz Stefanics (D-Bernalillo) introduced an identical companion bill, SB 153, in the New Mexico State Senate.

HB 90 was assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHSC) and the Judiciary Committee (HJC):

The Senate Public Affairs Committee heard SB 153 (now identical to HB 90 Substitute) on February 26, 2019 and passed it 4 to 3, moving it to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Take Action

TELL YOUR New Mexico STATE LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT THE End of Life Options ACT

Send a Letter

Send a letter to your New Mexico State Representative and Senator to urge their support for HB 90!

New Mexico State Representative Deborah Armstrong is sponsoring HB 90, Elizabeth Whitfield End of Life Options Act (there is an identical companion bill, SB 153, in the New Mexico State Senate). The bill allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult the option to request, obtain and take medication—should they choose—to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

Resources

Partners

Since 2018, we have been supporting the efforts of the New Mexico End of Life Options Coalition to advocate and campaign for the End of Life Options Act.

Municipal Resolutions

Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe city councils have approved resolutions supporting aid-in-dying legislation.

Endorsements

The following organizations have endorsed the bill (or aid-in-dying legislation in general):

  • ACLU of New Mexico
  • Equality New Mexico
  • Health Action New Mexico
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • NAACP Albuquerque
  • New Mexico Public Health Association
  • Nuestra Salud New Mexico
  • Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico
The following organizations have adopted a position of “engaged neutrality” in regards to medical aid in dying in New Mexico:
  • Greater Albuquerque Medical Association (November 2018)
  • New Mexico Association for Home & Hospice Care (November 2018)
  • New Mexico Medical Society (January 2019)

History

2017

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 narrowly passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in the full Senate on March 15 it was voted down on a 20 to 22 vote.

2014

On January 13, 2014, New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ruled that physician-assisted dying is a right under the state Constitution, in the case Morris v. Brandenburg. An appeals court overturned this ruling on August 11, 2015.

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.

Pre-2014

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

Take Action

TELL YOUR New Mexico STATE LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT THE End of Life Options ACT

Send a Letter

Send a letter to your New Mexico State Representative and Senator to urge their support for HB 90!

New Mexico State Representative Deborah Armstrong is sponsoring HB 90, Elizabeth Whitfield End of Life Options Act (there is an identical companion bill, SB 153, in the New Mexico State Senate). The bill allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult the option to request, obtain and take medication—should they choose—to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

Personal Stories