Physician-Assisted Suicide Bills Fail in New Mexico and Arkansas
Two bills allowing physician-assisted suicide failed in New Mexico and Arkansas last week.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Rep. Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) of New Mexico requested to table the HB 90 bill for the 2019 legislative session. “At the time, we are just a few votes shy to pass the bill,” she said. She and Sen. Elizabeth Stefanics (D-Cerrillos) sponsored the bill.
HB 90 would allow patients to end their lives after authorization from two medical providers and a 48 hour waiting period once life-ending drugs had been prescribed, as reported by the Las Cruces Sun News. The Santa Fe New Mexican also included other stipulations of the bill: Patients who had six months or less to live would be required to get two witnesses’ signatures on the request; doctors must discuss alternatives, such as hospice care; and, a patient must acquire a second opinion.
Opponents of this bill include Rep. Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras), who believed this bill could allow for abuse from predatory family heirs or others. “It allows for the perfect crime,” he said.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, claimed the HB 90 bill was the most extreme assisted suicide bill she’d ever seen, according to Life News, because it allowed euthanasia.
Death with Dignity, an organization that promotes dignity laws for dying individuals, said, “There is an identical companion bill [to HB 90] … in the New Mexico State Senate. The bill
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