Assisted suicide became legal in New Mexico from 18 June 2021.
The law allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as physicians, to prescribe a lethal dose of poison to enable a person to commit suicide.
The poison can be supplied 48 hours after the request is approved, or sooner if the prescriber asserts the person may die within the 48-hour period.
In an acknowledgement that mental illness and intellectual disability could impact decision-making capacity, an amendment requires referral for assessment if there is a history of either of these conditions.
The law limits the data that can be collected and published to basic demographic information so there will be no information available about complications, length of relationship with the physician, time between first request and ingestion of the lethal dose, time between ingestion of the lethal dose and unconsciousness or time between ingestion of the lethal dose and death.
The law requires that before being prescribed the lethal poison a person must acknowledge that death is expected after ingesting the poison but that “although most deaths occur within three hours, my death may take longer”.
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