Senate committee to hear end-of-life options bill Monday | KOB 4

Senate committee to hear end-of-life options bill Monday

Kai Porter
Updated: February 28, 2021 09:43 PM
Created: February 28, 2021 05:34 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients in New Mexico is moving forward in the Roundhouse. 

House Bill 47 is named after a former Albuquerque family court judge who died from breast cancer at age 71 back in 2018, and was an advocate for end-of-life options for terminally ill patients. 

Earlier this month, the House passed HB 47—or the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act—by a 39-27 vote. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the first of two Senate committees Monday. 

“This would provide medical aid and dying in New Mexico for adults who are terminally ill, competent to make the decision, and able to self administer the medication,” said State Rep. Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) in a previous KOB 4 interview about the bill.

The representative has carried the bill twice before in 2017 and 2019. She said she’s hopeful it’ll make it to the governor’s desk this time around. 

For Armstrong, the connection to the bill in a personal one. 

“I have worked with patients who were in death and dying who were terminally ill, worked in hospice. My daughter has advanced stage for cancer. Her father does as well and it's a personal choice I would like to have for them when the time comes,” she said.

The Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee will hear the bill Monday.

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