The Corner

New Mexico Supremes Declare No Right to Assisted Suicide

Unless you live in New Mexico, you probably didn’t hear about this story because it runs contrary to the media’s pet narrative of the inevitability of nationwide legal assisted suicide.

So, I’ll tell you. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that there is no state constitutional right to assisted suicide. From, Morris v. Brandenburg (my emphasis):

Although the State does not have a legitimate interest in preserving a painful and debilitating life that will imminently come to an end, the State does have a legitimate interest in providing positive protections to ensure that a terminally ill patient’s end-of-life decision is informed, independent, and procedurally safe.

More specifically, the State has legitimate interests in (1) protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession; (2) protecting vulnerable groups—including the poor, the elderly, and disabled persons—from the risk of subtle coercion and undue influence in end-of-life situations, including pressures associated with the substantial financial burden of end- of-life health care costs…

And here’s a very crucial point so often ignored by the prevaricators promoting assisted suicide as a mere “safety valve” for the few, terminally ill, for whom nothing else other than killing can end suffering:

…and (3) protecting against voluntary or involuntary euthanasia because if physician aid in dying is a constitutional right, it must be made available to everyone, even when a duly appointed surrogate makes the decision, and even when the patient is unable to self-administer the life-ending medication.

Exactly right.

The U.S. Supreme Court has also unanimously declined to conjure a “right” to assisted suicide in 1997, as have other state supreme courts in the years since. Indeed, no state constitutional right to assisted suicide has ever been declared by a high court despite numerous attempts.

Here’s a fact little recognized: Assisted suicide loses almost every time: Hundreds of efforts to legalize have been thwarted in the last few decades all around the country and internationally, as just happened (again) in Massachusetts, the voters of which also rejected legalization in a 2012 voter referendum.

The problem is, that while opponents have to win every contest, the suicide pushers only need to win once–has happened in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and now, California.

But if we are to go done this toxic road–which will inevitably unleash the kind death fundamentalist horrors now seen in Belgium, Netherlands, and Switzerland–at least let it be by political choice, not judicial fiat.

Good for the New Mexico Supreme Court!


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