By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
New Mexico’s assisted suicide Bill HB 90, is the most extreme assisted suicide bill I have ever seen.
After reading HB 90 I asked the question: Is the assisted suicide lobby behind HB 90 or is the author of the bill, Deborah Armstrong (Dem) more radical?
Jennifer Graham, writing for the Deseret News asks Kim Callinan, the CEO of the assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion & Choices (formerly known as the Hemlock Society), about the use of “telemedicine” to approve assisted suicide deaths in the New Mexico’s bill. Graham reports:
Proponents of medical assistance in dying say the use of telemedicine — diagnosing and treating patients from a distance through technology — is a logical next step for a practice that has been legal in some states for more than 20 years. They applaud New Mexico for drafting a bill that removes “unnecessary regulatory roadblocks” that make a dying person’s last stage of life even more difficult, and in some cases, prohibit the person from taking advantage of the law because of mandated waiting periods.
The assisted suicide lobby appears to have chosen New Mexico to introduce their extreme and expansive assisted suicide bill.
In her January 1 article: End-of-Life option laws should avoid needless red tape, Callinan argues that assisted suicide laws require fewer regulations. Callinan writes:
If lawmakers want to improve medical aid in dying laws, then let’s address the real problem: There are too many regulatory roadblocks already! I am not suggesting changing the eligibility requirements, as our opposition will suggest. I am merely suggesting that we drop some of the regulations that put unnecessary roadblocks in place.
Callinan continues her article by arguing that waiting periods for assisted suicide should be eliminated and claims that there have been no problems with assisted suicide laws.
To repeat, New Mexico’s assisted suicide bill is the most extreme bill that I have ever seen. The original Bill HB 90 includes:
- Allows nurses and physician assistants to participate in assisted suicide by defining “health care provider” to include: a licensed physician, a licensed osteopathic physician, a licensed nurse, and a licensed physician assistant.
- Does not require the person to “self administer.” The bill states “may self-administer” meaning that euthanasia is possible.
- Reduces waiting period to 48 hours to receive the lethal drugs.
- Allows people with mental health disorders to die by assisted suicide by enabling licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, master social worker, psychiatric nurse practitioner or professional clinical mental health counselor to approve assisted suicide for people with mental health disorders.
- Allows the “health care provider” to approve death via “telemedicine.”
- Replaces the normal 6 month terminal diagnosis with the undefined term: “foreseeable future.” What does it mean that a terminal illness may cause death in the “foreseeable future”?
- Requires health care providers to falsify the death certificate.
- Removes conscience rights for health care providers who object to assisted suicide by requiring them to refer patients to a health care provider who is willing to prescribe assisted suicide.
- Basis decisions on a “good faith compliance.”
It is impossible to prove that someone who participated in the act did not do so in “good faith.”
Years ago I stated that the assisted suicide lobby would expand the parameters for prescribing lethal drugs in the future. Compassion & Choices has chosen New Mexico to implement their strategy.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.