In June 2021, New Mexico joined 9 other states and the District of Columbia as its medical aid in dying act “came online”. What does this law mean for patients, families and health care providers? What is in the law? How have end-of-life medical decisions changed, if at all, over the past 40 years? Why do some argue that these decisions are not “suicide,” while others claim that indeed they are. This presentation will highlight some of the ethical, historical, legal, medical and religious dimensions of New Mexico’s End-of-Life Options Act.
Joan McIver Gibson, PhD, is a philosopher and consultant in applied ethics, bioethics, and values-based decision-making. With over 30 years of ethics-related experience in a variety of settings, she has chaired a hospital ethics committee and founded and directed UNM’s Health Sciences Ethics Program. Her latest book, PAUSE: How to Turn Tough Choices Into Strong Decisions, offers advice on making difficult personal decisions where stakes are high and values run deep.