In 2021, New Mexico passed the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-life Options Act, which allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live, the option to request, obtain and take medication to die peacefully, if and when they choose. Under the Act, healthcare providers, including San Juan Regional Medical Center, (“SJRMC”) and its providers, are not required to participate and may choose to opt out of the Act.
SJRMC will not participate in providing medical-aid -in-dying services as described in the End-of-life Options Act, and the Medical Staff Executive Committee will not consider and grant privileges to its members of the medical staff to provide medical-aid-in-dying services to patients at SJRMC and its Clinics.
SJRMC is committed to providing the best possible care for patients approaching the end-of-life, or actively dying, which includes pain and symptom management. We recognize the rights of patients to treatment, care and services within the organization’s capability. All patients regardless of age, race, creed/religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or source of payment for care, have the right to compassionate and respectful care as well as dying with dignity at the time of natural death.
When a patient is faced with a diagnosis of advanced, life-limiting illness, we inform the individual of SJRMC’s treatment options that may include comfort care, palliative care, hospice care and pain control. We respect and honor the choices of patients for end of life care. If a patient requests aid in dying, SJRMC will refer the patient accordingly.
If a patient has questions about services related to treatment options, we encourage and expect them to ask their health care provider directly. SJRMC acknowledges the rights of patients to seek aid-in-dying under New Mexico law elsewhere. If a patient declines the treatment options available at SJRMC and requests a transfer to a facility outside of our facility, we will transfer the patient in accordance with his or her wishes pursuant to NMSA §24-&7A-7 (A)-(I).