Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Under New Mexico’s new law, a doctor can issue a prescription for life-ending medication only after determining the patient seeking it has the mental capacity to make such a decision.
In addition, patients have to be able to self-administer the medicine and only those deemed likely to die within six months will be able to obtain it. There will also be a 48-hour waiting period to get the prescription filled, with narrow exceptions.
An earlier article highlighted some of the features of the new law.
The legislation will not force physicians, pharmacists or other health care professionals to provide life-ending drugs.
As the law is written, a terminally ill patient’s doctor can prescribe the drugs only after obtaining a second medical opinion and ensuring the patient is mentally and emotionally fit to make a choice about ending their life.
* * *
[The head] of Compassionate Choices Action Network, said New Mexico’s bill is different from others because it allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as physicians, to prescribe the life-ending drugs.
While most states’ aid-in-dying laws include a 15-day waiting period between the time the patient receives approval for the drugs and when they can obtain the them, New Mexico’s waiting period is 48 hours.