New Mexico judge: Doctors can give terminally ill patients medication to end their lives - InfoNews

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New Mexico judge: Doctors can give terminally ill patients medication to end their lives

FILE - This undated file photo provided by Compassion & Choices shows Aja Riggs, of Santa Fe, N.M. Lawyers representing two doctors and Riggs, who has advanced uterine cancer in a case challenging a decades-old New Mexico law that prohibits assisted suicide. New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ruled Monday, Jan 13, 2014, that the ability of competent, terminally ill patients to choose aid in dying is a fundamental right under the state Constitution. In her ruling, she declared that such a right ensures the liberty, safety and happiness of terminally ill patients. (AP Photo/Compassion & Choices, Desdemona Burgin, File)
January 13, 2014 - 1:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico judge has ruled some patients can choose a physician's aid in getting prescription medications to peacefully end their lives.

Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ruled Monday that the ability of competent, terminally ill patients to choose aid in dying is a fundamental right under the state constitution.

In her ruling, she declared that such a right ensures the liberty, safety and happiness of terminally ill patients.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico was pleased with the decision.

The group had represented plaintiffs who wanted physicians in New Mexico to be able to prescribe the needed medications to patients who sought to end their lives on their own terms.

Under state law, assisting with suicide is a fourth-degree felony. The plaintiffs don't consider physicians aiding in dying a form of suicide.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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