Judge: Doctors Can Prescribe Drugs To Aid In Dying

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (January 13, 2014) New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ruled Monday that some patients can seek a physician's aid in getting prescription medications with which to end their lives.

Nash ruled 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 said it was pleased with the decision.

The group 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.

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