While working in Oregon, surgical oncologist Katharine Morris helped two terminally ill patients die on their own terms. Morris says she felt she was doing it to end suffering and to give her patients a sense of control. So now, while working in New Mexico, she’s suing to get patients the option in New Mexico as well.
Four states – Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Montana – have so far legalized assisted suicide. This lawsuit takes a different approach. The plaintiffs argue that “physician aid-in-dying” is completely different than “assisted suicide.” This is the first time that specific argument will be made in court. “It’s a collaborative process between the family and friends and has been a peaceful process for patients whereas assisted suicide is a little more akin to putting the gun in someone’s hand and helping them pull the trigger,” Morris said. Physicians would prescribe pills to cause death. Patients would have to take the pills themselves. A judge has started hearing the case on Wednesday December 11, 2013. Attorneys expect that to take a few days. The decision could take weeks or months.
(Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4)