Trial over NM's assisted suicide law to begin

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two doctors and a Santa Fe woman with advanced uterine cancer are challenging a decades-old New Mexico law that prohibits assisted suicide.

Lawyers representing cancer doctors Katherine Morris and Aroop Mangalik and patient Aja Riggs are scheduled to deliver opening statements Wednesday in a state district court trial in Albuquerque.

The trial was prompted by a lawsuit filed in March 2012.

The suit seeks to clarify a New Mexico statute that states whoever assists with suicide is guilty of a fourth-degree felony.

Lawyers with The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and the Denver-based group Compassion & Choices argue that the law is vague and doesn't encompass the conduct of a licensed physician who is helping competent, terminally ill patients who want to end their lives.

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