New Mexico Court of Appeals rejects right to assisted suicide

Today, the New Mexico Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in Morris v. Brandenburg, and has held that the New Mexico Constitution creates no right to assisted suicide.

This ruling is great news. The New Mexico Constitution says nothing whatever about assisted suicide, and whether or not to approve it is quintessentially a legislative matter. Substantively, the practice would threaten the elderly, the poor, and minorities, and would corrupt the medical profession.

Judge Garcia wrote the lead opinion for the Court, which states “We reverse the district court’s ruling that aid in dying [i.e. assisted suicide] is a fundamental liberty interest under the New Mexico Constitution.”

Judge Hanisee wrote an opinion concurring in part, and Judge Vanzi wrote a dissenting opinion.

Together, the opinions run to over 140 pages, so it will take awhile to digest this decision. Because I represent some amici curiae who argued in favor of reversal, I probably will not provide my own detailed analysis of the merits, because I anticipate continuing to participate in this case should the New Mexico Supreme Court decide to hear it.

You can read my previous posts about this case here and here.

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