Bill legalizing life-ending medication passes committee | KOB 4
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Bill legalizing life-ending medication passes committee

Kai Porter
February 26, 2019 06:15 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. — In New Mexico it's illegal for a doctor to prescribe lethal medication to a patient who wants to end their life. SB 153 would change that, and on Tuesday it passed the Public Affairs Committee 4-3.

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It's called the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, named after the former Albuquerque family court judge who died from breast cancer at age 71 last August. She became an advocate for end of life options for terminally ill patients. 

Sen. Liz Stefanics is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill.

Doctors would only be able to prescribe life-ending medication to patients with less than six months to live and the mental capacity to make the decision, and take the medication themselves. 

Last month, KOB spoke with Rep. Debbie Armstrong, D-Albuquerque, who's carrying an identical version of the bill in the House.

"It's not assisted suicide, it's done in isolation and desperation. It's done surrounded by your family, your friends, loved ones. And when suffering becomes too much and you are going to die, and you're terminally ill, and the end is near, and you're suffering," she said. "For me, it's not a life or death decision. But a how you die decision."

There are critics of SB 153. The New Mexico Alliance for Life opposes the bill, calling it a radical anti-life bill.

Track this bill during the legislative session

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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