NM aid-in-dying bill fails on 20-22 vote on Senate floor

SANTA FE — Legislation that would have allowed terminally ill New Mexico adults to seek a doctor’s help in ending their lives failed tonight on the Senate floor.

The End of Life Options Act was defeated on a 20-22 vote, with seven Senate Democrats voting with most of the chamber’s Republican members to thwart the bill.

Several senators expressed concern the legislation, Senate Bill 252, could open the door to potentially thorny legal issues and undue influence being exerted on ailing individuals.

“This is dangerous,” said Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho. “Doctors make mistakes every day.”

The issue has emerged as one of the most emotional issues facing lawmakers during this year’s 60-day session, with lawmakers hearing dozens of stories from New Mexicans about relatives who died after prolonged suffering.

Backers say the legislation is only intended to provide options — not requirements — for those with terminal illnesses.

“The problem with being ill on this level is the lack of control over your own life,” said Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque.

This year’s Roundhouse debate was prompted by a state Supreme Court ruling last year that said terminally ill patients don’t have a right to a physician’s help in dying under the law as it stands now.

The bill would allow competent, terminally ill adult patients to obtain prescriptions from doctors for drugs the patients would have to self-administer. Death certificates for patients opting to use the program would list their underlying illness as the cause of death, not the prescribed medication.

Even if the measure had passed, it likely would have faced long odds in the House, as a similar measure has been stalled for several weeks in the House Judiciary Committee.

Share Your Story

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


15 New Mexicans complete state-backed 3D printing program
ABQnews Seeker
Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal A ... Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal A new state-funded boot camp program has helped 15 New Mex ...
Pilot in deadly balloon crash had marijuana, cocaine in ...
ABQnews Seeker
A toxicology report reveals that a ... A toxicology report reveals that a balloon pilot had marijuana and cocaine in his system when his balloon crashed, killing him and four others, ...
Hard lives collide in street corner shooting
ABQnews Seeker
David Hart, 56, spent much of ... David Hart, 56, spent much of his time on West Central, near 98th Street. Police reports show he was frequently interviewed as a witness ...
NM hits 70% threshold for COVID vaccines
ABQnews Seeker
An uptick in the pace of ... An uptick in the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations last week helped carry New Mexico to a new milestone Wednesday — a 70.0% vaccination rate ...
NM officials grapple with how to address pandemic learning ...
ABQnews Seeker
For many New Mexico students, getting ... For many New Mexico students, getting caught up from pandemic-related learning losses could be a years-long struggle. A report presented Wednesday to a key ...
‘We’re trying to speed things up:' Cannon officials acknowledge ...
ABQnews Seeker
Cannon Air Force Base is starting ... Cannon Air Force Base is starting work with nearby landowners to test their water and soil for a group of chemicals known as PFAS. ...
Stream Commission seeks $2 million for habitat projects
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission ... The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission will request $2 million in state funds to build river and bosque habitat for endangered species and upgrade ...
Person critically injured in SE ABQ shooting
ABQnews Seeker
A person was taken to the ... A person was taken to the hospital in critical condition after being shot Wednesday afternoon in Southeast Albuquerque. Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, ...
Officer shot last month calls for everybody to 'do ...
ABQnews Seeker
Sgt. Sean Kenny says: 'Everybody's failing. ... Sgt. Sean Kenny says: 'Everybody's failing. APD is failing. Everybody, we're failing.'