New Mexico considers ‘Right to Die’ legislation

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There was a lot of passion in a committee hearing Monday morning about a bill to allow those who are terminally ill to have the medical option to end their life. 

It’s a bill that has failed to pass in years past, but this year is already getting traction. 

This bill is named after Elizabeth Whitefield, an Albuquerque judge. She lost her battle to cancer five months ago, but advocated for years to give those who were terminally ill, like herself, the chance to die without pain. 

Both sides of this issue let their voices be heard Monday. 

“One day you’ll be surrounded by your grandchildren and they’ll be saying, ‘Take the pill,'” one person said. 

“I feel people should have the choice to end their life in dignity without excruciating suffering,” another person said. 

This bill would require two medical professionals to determine that person is terminally ill. 

There would also be a two day waiting period before the person would be allowed to give themselves the lethal medications. 

The bill also requires that the person wanting to end their life must have the legal capacity to make the decision. 

One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Deborah Armstrong, got emotional during the hearing saying this bill would directly affect her own family. 

“She wants to decide how to live her life, how to die, how long to fight, and she wants her family around her,” Rep. Armstrong said. 

Rep. Armstrong shared your daughter’s cancer story, saying her daughter is not terminal yet, but one day she will be, and hopes her daughter has options. 

There was some concern about kids being able to get their hands on the drugs. Supporters say this bill is only for adults who have at least six months to live. 

The bill was approved on a 4-3 vote and now goes to the judiciary committee. If it passes, New Mexico would be the sixth state to pass Right to Die legislation.

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