Suit was filed this week in a New Mexico federal district court by a physician and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations challenging the constitutionality of New Mexico’s End-of-Life Options Act. The complaint (full text) alleges in part:
6. The Act purports to protect physicians who object to assisted suicide for reasons of conscience, saying they will not be required to “participate.” But that promise rings hollow. The Act does not define the word “participate,” requires conscientious objectors to facilitate suicide in material ways, and expressly prohibits professional associations like CMDA from taking action to ensure that their members advance—rather than undermine—their mission and message.
7. The Act compels objecting physicians to speak and inform terminally ill patients about the availability of assisted suicide…..
8. The Act forces objecting physicians to refer their patients to physicians or organizations who are “able and willing to carry out” the patient’s assisted suicide…..
9. The Act expressly prohibits professional associations like CMDA from suspending, denying, or revoking membership to physicians who participate in assisted suicide, violating CMDA’s right to associate with members who will present a consistent message. Id. at § 24-7C-7(B).
10. The State of New Mexico thus compels objecting health care professionals to speak a certain message about assisted suicide, and forces them to provide proximate, formal, and material cooperation in an unethical and sinful act.
ADF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.Religion Clause: Christian Doctors Challenge New Mexico’s Assisted Suicide Law