Closing arguments wrap in right-to-die trial

Posted at: 12/12/2013 1:28 PM
Updated at: 12/12/2013 8:22 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4



It could be a month before a ruling is issued in the New Mexico’s right-to-die case.

A judge will decide if terminally patients should be allowed to end their lives with a doctor's help.

Both sides made their closing arguments today.

“We are certainly at that point hastening the moment which that death will occur,” said Doctor Nicholas Gideonse from The Oregon Health and Science University started the day off as a witness to how the state of Oregon practiced the right to die procedures.

Judge Nan Nash asked many questions. It’s up to her to decide whether physicians can prescribe medication to their terminally ill patients to help them end their lives.

“Clearly there is a role for the court,” said Attorney Laura Ives “That role is to say what the law is.”

The plaintiff's attorneys argue that the law to prohibit this act is vague.

“As it stands, a physician wouldn't know that some end of life care was prohibited but others were not after reading this statute,” said Attorney Kathryn Tucker.

However Scott Fuqua with the State of New Mexico argues the law is clear and anyone who helps aid in this kind of death is breaking the law regardless of intention.

"The fact that the patient takes the medication just means that it's not second degree murder,” said Fuqua.

The plaintiff's argue that they are giving the patient the power of choice.

“This is a lot of information to digest and think through,” Judge Nan Nash said.