“Law Puts Vulnerable Citizens at Risk“
By Laura Echevarria, Communications Director and Press Secretary
WASHINGTON — “New Mexico’s assisted suicide law puts vulnerable citizens at risk,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Depression related to a serious illness often drives requests for assisted suicide, and in other states that have legalized assisted suicide, referrals for psychological evaluation are almost nonexistent.”
The legislation passed the New Mexico Senate on March 15, (24-17) largely along party lines; two Democratic senators voting against it. The New Mexico House, which had previously approved the bill, then concurred with Senate amendments on March 16. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legislation into law on Thursday, April 8th.
The law takes effect on June 18.
The National Council on Disability confirms that the most common reason people seek assisted suicide is not related to pain. Instead, patients report that the primary reason they seek assisted suicide is because of a lack of support and services—whether it be financial help or related to depression.
“In New Mexico, vulnerable patients who need support can be offered lethal drugs to end their lives instead of the help they genuinely need,” Tobias continued.
“This legislation endangers vulnerable populations and opens the door to abuse,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., director of Medical Ethics for National Right to Life. “This puts a human being in danger of becoming a notation in a cost/benefit analysis.”