New Mexico needs end-of-life care options now - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico needs end-of-life care options now

Lawmakers in my home state are currently considering the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, House Bill 47, and I want to share my voice. I’ve been working on behalf of terminally ill Hispanics who are impacted by significant health care disparities and have fought for many years to improve access to end-of-life care including the option to die peacefully, without unnecessary pain.

I advocate for this issue because I watched my own mother suffer in agony as she died from breast cancer. I know if I had a terminal illness, it would be important to me to at least have the option.

Many of us work hard every day to provide equitable access to quality health care for our communities, but we need to also work to ensure quality end-of-life care for people who are suffering from a terminal illness.

I’m urging legislators to consider passing HB 47. This compassionate bill would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes intolerable. I was heartbroken when the Legislature did not pass the bill during the 2019 legislative session. I’m heartbroken today because many of the advocates who worked in support of it are not here with us today.

Terminally ill New Mexicans do not have time to wait for another legislative session. They are suffering, and they are dying, in pain, now. This issue is urgent for them. I strongly believe every New Mexican should be able to make end-of-life care decisions that are right for them and their families, including the option to request medical aid in dying.

I understand that some legislators may decide not to use this option if they become terminally ill. However, I urge them to honor the equally valid beliefs of other dying people who want this option – and those who have watched loved ones suffer needlessly painful deaths who wished they had this option, like myself.

Although I am not able to visit with lawmakers and rally with dying New Mexicans right now because of the pandemic, I urge you to stand with the majority of New Mexicans to pass HB 47. Join me to eradicate these health care disparities so all Americans have equal access to the full range of end-of-life care options. Let’s work together and hear the voices of terminally ill New Mexicans.

Si Se Puede. Yes We Can!

Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She was recently named one of USA Today’s ‘Women of the Century.’

 

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » New Mexico needs end-of-life care options now


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
New grocery store approved near Rust Medical Center
ABQnews Seeker
The Rio Rancho Governing Board at ... The Rio Rancho Governing Board at its June 23 meeting approved site plans for Albertsons Market Street @ The Village near the new Presbyterian ...
2
Primary results certified as November election looms
From the newspaper
Just over 25% of eligible New ... Just over 25% of eligible New Mexico voters cast ballots in the June 7 election
3
Isotopes continue homer trend in grand fashion
Featured Sports
The Isotopes have hit a PCL-leading ... The Isotopes have hit a PCL-leading 112 homers this season, but also allowed a Triple-A high 130 long balls.
4
Editorial: Try a staycation to help New Mexico's fire-ravaged ...
Editorials
New Mexicans are not far removed ... New Mexicans are not far removed from making conscious financial choices to help neighbors in a time ...
5
Rockets away in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Teams from around the globe gather ... Teams from around the globe gather to compete in the Spaceport America Cup
6
One of ABQ’s newest speed cameras stolen off its ...
ABQnews Seeker
Just over two weeks after the ... Just over two weeks after the city's mobile speed enforcement device on Lead at Cornell started issuing tickets, vandals removed the camera box
7
Bloomfield boy overcomes traumatic eye injury
From the newspaper
A day of playing in the ... A day of playing in the backyard resulted into severe eye trauma for a New Mexico boy. ...
8
Keeping an eye on child obesity
From the newspaper
In the last column we discussed ... In the last column we discussed what is BMI and how is it calculated. We also discussed that the ran ...
9
Lobo hoops: Youth have their moments at Pitino basketball ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo players and young Lobo fans ... Lobo players and young Lobo fans filled the Pit on Tuesday as part of the first Richard Pitino youth basketball camp at UNM.