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End of Life in New Mexico: Clinical, Ethical and Legal Issues
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End of Life in New Mexico: Clinical, Ethical and Legal Issues

 Export to Your Calendar 4/6/2019
When: 8:30 AM
Where: Holiday Inn Express and Suites Midtown
2500 Menaul Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico  87107
United States
Contact: Kevin Kinzie

Online registration is available until: 4/4/2019
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New Mexico Psychological Association
Saturday Seminar Series

"End of Life in New Mexico: Clinical, Ethical and Legal Issues"
(6 CE Credits*)

Saturday, April 6, 2019
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Holiday Inn Express Midtown
2500 Menaul Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107


The seminar will review the current status of the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options legislation. The legislation contains a number of important issues for psychologists who may be involved with clients or family members struggling with terminal illness.  The seminar is intended to explore these issues and offer increased awareness and understanding of how psychologists may best serve their clients under these difficult circumstances.


Tentative Schedule:


8:00 - 8:30 - Registration and networking


8:30 to 10:00 - Overview and current status of the legislation.  Thomas Sims, Ph.D.

This session will review the current status of the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options legislation. The legislation contains a number of important issues for psychologists who may be involved with clients or family members struggling with terminal illness.


The presentation will review the legislation including the two slightly different house and senate versions.  It will focus on the role of behavioral health providers, including psychologists as specified in the legislation as well as potential involvement of psychologists as consultants to the overall health system.  The legislative analysis of the legislation will be reviewed, including the bill synopsis, experience of other states and significant issues to be considered.  The position of the American Psychological Association (APA) on end of life options will be reviewed



1. Participants will understand the potential roles of psychologists in the legislation, including as therapists, consultants and competence evaluators.

2. Participants will become familiar with the APA position regarding end of life options.


10:15 to 11:45 - What is palliative care and how can psychologists contribute to the quality of life of persons with life-limiting illnesses? Marie C. Weil, Psy.D. ABPP

This session will discuss palliative care for terminally ill patients and those living with seriously life limiting illnesses. It will include how a psychologist might assist in the law’s requirement “that there be a discussion with the patient about “feasible alternative, concurrent or additional treatment opportunities, including hospice care and palliative care focused on relieving symptoms and reducing suffering.” 



1. Define palliative and hospice care

2. Describe goals of care conversations



11:45 to 1:00 - Lunch (on your own)

1:00 to 2:30 - Determining a patient’s capacity with regard to end of life medical decision making. William E. Foote, Ph.D. ABPP

This session will provide information to participants about conducting assessments of individuals who desire medical assistance in dying.  Most states that have passed such legislation have included a mandatory evaluation by a mental health professional to ensure that the patient is legally competent to make this critical decision.  This session will begin with an introduction to informed consent, and then focus on informed consent in medical settings.  Next, the presenter will describe an assessment protocol that will meet the likely legal requirements, including a discussion of whether there are psychological test instruments that may be used in this context.  The session will include a discussion of the complicating factors that patients may present in this setting, including medication effects, coercion and cultural factors.  Assessing depression is a major issue, as affective disorders can alter the reasoning and decision-making ability of the patient.  A model utilizing multiple sources of information will be provided.  Participants will be reminded that the ultimate choice made by the patient is not the focus of the assessment, but rather how the patient arrives at that choice.  Participants will be provided a list of information that should be covered in these reports. 



1. List the elements of informed consent;

2. Describe how the End of Life Assessment process fits into the Medical Assistance in Dying legislation;

3. Understand the complications that may interfere with a patient’s competence to make End of Life decision; and,

4. Grasp the necessary elements for a competent End of Life assessment report. 


2:45 to 4:15 - Ethics and standards of care in end of life circumstances.  Dan Matthews Ph.D. 

This portion of the Seminar will provide information about standards of practice for physicians and mental health professionals regarding end of life decision making.  As practitioners, psychologists, will need to decide whether to participate in the evaluations for those patients seeking medications that will cause their death, as required in some cases. 


In our ethical role of advising the public using our science, our ethics code and good practice, psychologists may want to consider the decision-making process that patients go through with their physicians. 

Guidelines and handbooks have been written for professionals (physicians, other medical professionals and mental health professionals) that examine end-of-life decision making and responsibilities; these will be considered in this workshop.  New Mexicans may want to adopt such documents outlining a standard of care for such decisions.  From this perspective, public policy implications of our ethics, practice and science will be discussed

$130 - Non-Members
$100 - NMPA Members
$90 - Early Career Members
$10 Early Bird Discount for registrations prior to March 16

This program is sponsored by the New Mexico Psychological Association (NMPA).
NMPA is approved by the New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners to sponsor continuing education for New Mexico psychologists.
NMPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Registration includes coffee, morning and afternoon refreshments.  Lunch is on your own.

*6 Continuing Education credits are available, of which 1.5 hours may be considered ethics. 
You must attend the full seminar to receive CE credits.  Participants arriving more than 15 minutes after the scheduled starting time or leaving more than 15 minutes prior to the end will not receive CE credits.   No partial credit will be awarded for this presentation.

All cancellations are subject to a $15 processing fee.

Room temperatures vary - bring a light jacket or sweater

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End of Life in New Mexico: Clinical, Ethical and Legal Issues

2019 Ethics and Risk Management Workshop

New Mexico Psychological Association
Phone: (505) 883-7376  E-mail:
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00am to 1:00pm