By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On August 11, the New Mexico Court of Appeals handed a defeat to the right-to-die movement by reversing an activist lower-court ruling that legalized assisted suicide. In overturning the lower court decision, the Court of Appeals upheld the assisted suicide law in New Mexico.
The assisted suicide lobby appealed the Court of Appeals decision quickly the next week.
The New Mexico Supreme Court has now scheduled to hear the assisted suicide case on October 26.
The original case was based on a word game. The case argued 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 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.
A similar case was dismissed by the Connecticut court in 2010.