KUNM

Physician Assistance In Dying Measure Advances

Jan 29, 2019

A bill that will allow people with terminal illnesses to get medical help to end their lives made it through a legislative committee Monday.

The Human Services and Health Committee passed the proposal on a 4 to 3 vote with some lawmakers expressing concerns about who would be eligible. 

Representative Gail Armstrong of Magdalena opposed the measure. The Republican worried that people would refuse to take medications for things like cancer or diabetes and then qualify for physician-assisted suicide. 

“This is a 'what if' for me,” said Armstrong. “I’m just honestly trying, Madam Chair, to just think of all the safeguards for my community and my constituents.”

The bill requires patients to be mentally competent and a medical professional would have to sign off on any requests for aid in dying. 

It now goes to the House Judiciary Committee for review.