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Senator Schmedes Applauds Legislation Clarifying Conscience Protections for Healthcare Professionals

Senator Gregg Schmedes Applauds Legislation Clarifying Conscience Protections for Healthcare Professionals

SANTA FE — Senator Gregg Schmedes, M.D. (R-Tijeras) today offered his support for legislation to clarify conscience protections for doctors and other medical professionals. Senate Bill 471, which cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with unanimous support, would allow persons to refuse to participate in physician-assisted suicide in any way for reasons of conscience.

“When we debated legalizing physician-assisted suicide in New Mexico, I voiced my concerns about the lack of conscientious objection protections for medical professionals,” said Senator Schmedes. “Unfortunately, it took a federal lawsuit to prompt this fix and I suspect that similar lawsuits will follow. We are currently considering legislation that will force doctors and others to participate in abortions and gender transition procedures. I would urge my colleagues to incorporate conscience-based protections into those proposals as well.”

Senate Bill 471 was introduced on the heels of federal litigation in the matter of Mark Lacy, M.D. and Christian Medical & Dental Associations v. Hector Balderas et al., in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. The Plaintiffs are seeking a declaration from the court that the referral and informing requirements of the End-of-Life Options Act violate their First Amendment, due process, and equal protection rights.

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