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New Mexico’s Medical Aid-in-Dying Law Takes Effect; California’s Hits Five-Year Milestone
Compassion & Choices kicked off the New Mexico Access Campaign to help people use and understand the state’s new law. Compassion & Choices Action Network hosted a virtual event for the End of Life Option Act’s fifth anniversary and is continuing to move forward a bill that will keep the law in place.
Jul 27, 2021After years of effort, the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act went into effect June 18. The same day, Compassion & Choices launched the bilingual New Mexico Access Campaign to educate the public and provide technical assistance to healthcare providers and medical systems about the new law. This campaign is built on our 24 years of experience, starting with Oregon in 1997, helping to implement medical aid-in-dying laws in the now 11 jurisdictions that have authorized the option for terminally ill, mentally capable adults. “Passing the law does not signal the end of the work to expand and improve end-of-life care options in New Mexico,” said Elizabeth Armijo, national advocacy director for Compassion & Choices. “It signals the start of the all-important implementation phase of the law to ensure that eligible New Mexicans have real and meaningful access to the full range of end-of-life care options, including medical aid in dying.” Improvements written into New Mexico’s law as compared to earlier laws include:
- Allowing advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants to serve as either the prescribing or consulting clinician.
- Streamlining the process for receiving a prescription for aid-in-dying medication by requiring only one written request.
- Giving the prescribing provider the ability to waive the 48-hour waiting period between receiving and filling the prescription for aid-in-dying medication.
- Clarifying that if a healthcare provider objects to participating in medical aid in dying, they must inform the terminally ill person and refer them to either a healthcare provider who is able and willing to carry out the person’s request or to another individual or entity to assist the requesting person in seeking medical aid in dying.