Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Mexico Attorney General appeals assisted suicide lower court decision

By Alex Schadenberg
Gary King
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - International Chair

Today we learned that Gary King, the New Mexico Attorney General, appealed the activist lower court decision that undermined protections for New Mexico citizens from assisted suicide by finding a right to assisted suicide in the New Mexico State Constitution.

On January 13, 2014 Judge Nan Nash, of the Second Judicial District in New Mexico legislated from the bench by allowing New Mexico doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to assist the suicide deaths of their patients in the case Morris v New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that:
Nash found that the right exists under the New Mexico Constitution, which prohibits the state from depriving a person of life, liberty or property without due process.
Morris v. New Mexico, which was heard December 12 - 13, 2013, should have been dismissed. 

The case claimed that "aid in dying", which is also known as assisted suicide, is not prohibited by the New Mexico assisted suicide law because "aid in dying" is not assisted suicide.

The case then argued, that if "aid in dying" is assisted suicide, then the New Mexico assisted suicide law is unconstitutional because it undermines the right to privacy and autonomy.

But "aid in dying" is assisted suicide and assisted suicide does not constitute medical treatment. Therefore prohibiting assisted suicide does not undermine the right to privacy or autonomy.

The Albuquerque Journal reported on March 13 that Attorney General King was concerned with the integrity of the law. The article reported King to have said:
“Our position is we’re defending the integrity of the statute. If people are interested in changing state law, they should propose new legislation."
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is pleased that Attorney General, Gary King, appealed the activist decision by Judge Nan Nash. We hope that the higher court will overturn this decision.
EPC thanks all of the people who contacted Gary King, by email, phone and through the online petition.

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