From Death with Dignity’s national webpage:
It is an exciting day for us all. Terminally ill New Mexico residents can now begin the qualification process to receive aid-in-dying medication through the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act. This is the tenth death with dignity law to pass in our country, and we are one step closer to making this an option for all Americans.
This isn’t just a huge opportunity for New Mexicans. The Act is particularly innovative in increasing patient access, and it should be a model for future death with dignity laws:
- Shorter Waiting Period: Patients in New Mexico only have to wait 48 hours to have their prescription filled for aid-in-dying medication after it is written by their prescribing health care provider. If the health care provider feels a patient will likely die sooner, the waiting period can be waived.
- Additional Providers: New Mexico is the first state to authorize advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants to participate as either the prescribing or consulting health care provider, as long as at least one physician is involved in assessing the patient.
- Hospice Provision: If a patient is already enrolled in hospice, they do not need a consulting health care provider to participate, only a prescribing physician, as they would have already been evaluated by a palliative healthcare team, and deemed terminally ill.
We are so proud to celebrate this victory alongside the tireless advocates in New Mexico. Our movement has a lot to learn from what New Mexico has accomplished through grassroots organizing and dogged determination. Stay in the loop as critical next steps unfold!
Together, we will continue to expand the death with dignity movement across the country.