Bishops defend NM's assisted suicide law

Posted at: 12/13/2013 2:57 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - The New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops is coming out in defense of a state law that prohibits assisted suicide, saying the statute is meant to protect life.

The bishops issued their statement Friday, one day after closing arguments wrapped up in a state district court trial over a right-to-die challenge filed by two New Mexico doctors and a cancer patient from Santa Fe.

The plaintiffs want physicians in New Mexico to be able to prescribe the needed medications to competent, terminally ill patients who want to end their lives on their own terms.

Under state law, assisting with suicide is a fourth-degree felony. But the plaintiffs don't consider physicians aiding in dying as suicide.

The bishops argue effective pain treatment should guarantee that no one suffers a painful death.

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