On Wednesday, a Christian doctor and Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), sued the state of New Mexico in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. The doctors sued after the state enacted a 2021 law forcing doctors to aid in physician-assisted suicides. The attorneys argued the mandate to facilitate the end of a patient’s life via a cocktail of life-ending drugs violated their religious conscience and professional ethics.
According to Life News, “The federal lawsuit explains that, despite historic condemnations of assisted suicide, New Mexico enacted the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act in 2021. The law requires physicians who are conscientious objectors to facilitate suicide by informing patients about assisted suicide and referring patients to physicians and organizations who will participate in ending their lives. If physicians decline to participate based on their religious beliefs or professional ethics, they can face substantial criminal, civil, administrative, and professional liability, including risking losing their medical licenses.”
“New Mexico is unlawfully compelling physicians to speak a certain message about assisted suicide, even if they object for reasons of conscience or faith,” ADF Senior Counsel Mark Lippelmann told Life News. “The Christian doctors we represent believe that every life is sacred and full of inherent value, and that assisted suicide ends an innocent human life without justification. The government should not force doctors to surrender their religious, moral, and ethical convictions.”
CMDA member Dr. Mark Lacy, who practices in New Mexico, has joined the lawsuit.
Background on the law:
The anti-life law passed the Legislature despite bipartisan opposition to the radical measure, with a final vote of 24-17. Despite the vast opposition, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is close friends with the bill’s sponsor, now-former Rep. Debbie Armstrong (D-Bernalillo).
Democrats Pete Campos of Las Vegas, George Muñoz of Gallup, and Benny Shendo Jr. of Jemez Pueblo, joined Republicans in voting against the measure. Despite invoking his Catholic faith and saying he attended mass at the Cathedral, Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) voted with anti-life Democrats to approve the bill.
During the debate, Sen. Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras) said, “My concern is that when we legalize this practice, as we’ve seen in other states, the overall suicide rate goes up.” He added, “When I use the word ‘suicide,’ I don’t use it flippantly. Suicide’s the intentional taking of your life.”
The bill, which is opposed by multiple disability rights groups, the Navajo Nation, and many patients living with terminal conditions, seeks to further normalize a culture of death in New Mexico by letting medical professionals prescribe lethal drugs to patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness that could take their lives anytime up to six months.
The bill would legalize doctors to prescribe a “cocktail” of lethal drugs to patients suffering from terminal illnesses, which will save insurance companies money.
During the bill’s hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday, the “expert witnesses,” law professor Robert Schwartz and physician Steven Kanig could not even list the drugs that would be prescribed to end an individual’s life and admitted that there is no set “cocktail” that is used. Schwartz claimed the concoction of harmful drugs “has been refined over the years” and that “these drugs do change.”