By Heather ClarkChristian News
The New Mexico Senate has narrowly stopped the furtherance of a proposed bill that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide in the state.
Senate Bill 252 was voted down 22-20 as seven Democrats joined the Republicans who opposed the measure.
“A health care provider may provide medical aid in dying to an adult patient if the health care provider determines that the patient: (1) has capacity; (2) has a terminal illness; (3) has voluntarily made the request for medical aid in dying,” the bill read in part.
It requires the ailing patient to sign a form that attests that they have six months or less to live and that they understand that they will die if they take the requested lethal prescription. Two witnesses are also required to sign the document, and two doctors must attest that the person is mentally competent.
The bill had been presented by Sens. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, and Deborah Armstrong, D-Albuquerque, and cleared the Senate Public Affairs Committee on March 3.
However, it was also opposed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Right to Life New Mexico, as well as Catholic groups in the state.
“You have to be actively involved in some way, from educating yourself or giving support to the organizations that are educating others, or [being] involved in the political arena,” Right to Life Executive Director Dauneen Dolce told One News Now. “If you don’t do that, you are handing over our state [and] our laws, and the culture of death will come to us—and that will be from apathy.”