Though the Land of Enchantment's leadership has approved a new bill legalizing assisted suicide, a civil rights, pro-life organization is not done working against it.
Earlier this month, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed HB 47, the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act, into law -- a measure that pro-lifers call the most dangerous assisted suicide law in the nation. Named for a judge who advocated for legalized assisted suicide before her death from cancer in 2018, the measure will allow suicide by lethal medication for any patient given six months or less to live.
Ethel Maharg of the Right to Life Committee of New Mexico tells One News Now one of its provisions eliminates the typical 15-day period a patient must wait before receiving lethal drugs. As of June 18th, when the law is set to take effect, a patient will only be required to wait two days.
"On top of only having 48 hours, you can wave it," she continues. "So if you're having a bad day, you can die that day. You can ask to wave it, and … you're gone."
There is a sort of conscience clause that allows medical personnel who object on religious or ethical grounds to not participate in helping someone end his or her own life, but that does not mean they can turn their backs on a patient.
"The problem with it is that if they're opposed to it, they need to refer," Maharg explains. "A lot of doctors don't even want to do that."
The Right to Life Committee of New Mexico plans to return and lobby legislators next session to see about having provisions in place to prevent abuse.
"That's where it opened a door wide for people that stand to gain something by the death of somebody," Maharg says, noting that while legislators say that would not happen, "you can rest assured it will."
It will be an uphill battle, though, as the New Mexico Legislature is dominated by left-wing Democrats.