On December 19, 2018, New Mexico State Representative Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) pre-filed HB 90, Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, which she plans to introduce in January 2019. Soon after, New Mexico State Senator Liz Stefanics (D-Bernalillo) introduced an identical companion bill, SB 153, in the New Mexico State Senate.
Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe city councils have approved resolutions supporting aid-in-dying legislation.
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
- Greater Albuquerque Medical Association (November 2018)
- New Mexico Association for Home & Hospice Care (November 2018)
- New Mexico Medical Society (January 2019)
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.
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).
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.