The New Mexico End-of-life Options Act, which the Legislature rejected in 2017 but has been considering again this year, is woefully misnamed.
Options will become fewer should this bill become law, because the only course of action it facilitates is death. The bill does nothing to expand access to lifesaving treatments or palliative care that relieves the pain and discomfort associated with serious illness. It won’t promote in-home support so that people can continue to live in their own homes regardless of increasing disability that often accompanies illness. This bill just authorizes health care providers to write lethal prescriptions for terminally ill people and grants broad legal immunity to everyone involved in their deaths.
The proposed bill would exist in a medical system where there already is enormous pressure to reduce costs. While corporate profits soar, many people struggle to obtain basic care. In addition, many practitioners still have “quality-of-life” prejudices against elders and people with disabilities, considering them less worthy of care and resources.
The assisted suicide experience in Oregon is not as benign as proponents have suggested. To the contrary, it is deeply disturbing. For example, there have been instances where insurers have denied payments for treatments that might be life-prolonging and offered to pay for drugs to cause a person’s death instead. A person facing serious illness needs more support, not less, and to be denied coverage for needed treatment would be devastating.
Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican…