Introduction to End-of-Life Options (EOLO)

Understanding the basics

Introduction to End of Life Options

It is never too early to learn about the full range of end-of-life options that are available as we age and/or become seriously ill or injured. Understanding these options is critical as we plan for our future health care decisions through advance care planning— by completing advance directive forms, through discussions with our healthcare providers and loved ones, and by appointing a health care agent (sometimes called a healthcare surrogate, healthcare power of attorney, or medical proxy) should we become incapacitated.

Under the NM Uniform Healthcare Decision Act which established our right to self-determination, in 1995, these are our personal decisions to make…there are no “right” answers. Some people will choose to pursue life-sustaining treatments even if the chances of resuming a normal life are small and the side effects of treatment are difficult. They value extending life above all else and want to “fight the good fight” all the way to the end.

Others will choose among other options that range from not initiating any treatments, ceasing unsuccessful treatments, to taking a palliative approach towards comfort care by enrolling in hospice or choosing to hasten their death by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, or medical aid in dying, if they qualify.

End of Life Options NM supports all of these choices and we are available to help you understand them.  It is important that everyone can make decisions based on their particular situation and their values and based on what options are available to them. Learn more about each of the options by clicking the links below. 

What are your options at end of life?

Learn More

Click on the links below to explore your options.

Continue Treatments

Modern medicine has made incredible strides in the past several decades in treating many life threatening injuries and illnesses. With new drugs, techniques and therapies serious conditions can sometimes be reversed or mitigated increasing longevity and enhancing one’s quality of life.

Forgo or Cease Treatment

A legal right to refuse medical treatment even if that treatment is necessary to sustain life. These life sustaining interventions can include ventilators, feeding tubes and pacemakers.

Palliative Care

 This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.


Hospice is a program in which an interdisciplinary team of caregivers provides comfort, support and dignity to terminally ill people when medical treatment is no longer expected to cure the disease or prolong life. 

Palliative Care Specialized care focusing on relief of symptoms and help with treatment decisions.

Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking

VSED: a legal right for any individual who wishes to shorten their dying process by refusing nourishment orally or through a tube. 

Medical Aid in Dying

Medical aid in dying is a medical practice that allows mentally capable, terminally ill adults to request a prescription for life-ending medication from their health care provider. 

Contact Us

Whatever your question or request, you may contact us by phone, email,  web form, or by joining our facebook conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Call our warmline dispatcher!

Our dispatcher Viki Teahan will respond to your inquiry and direct you to a client support volunteer to answer your questions and direct you to the support you are seeking. Messages left after business hours will be responded to as quickly as we can. Let us know how we can help.


The Conversation Project® is a public engagement initiative to help everyone talk about their wishes for care through the end of life, so those wishes can be understood and respected.
The Completed Life Initiative was created in an effort to promote self-determination and dignity at the end-of-life with a purpose to provide increased access to end-of-life care resources, expand Death with Dignity legislative action, and start a national movement prompting people to ask: “what does it mean to live a completed life?”
One of the largest end-of-life planning websites, it offers tools for estate planning, healthcare decision making, aging parents and coping with grief and loss.
A collaborative effort between Compassion & Choices and the City of Hope, the series centers on the humanities & arts, clinical aspects of end of life and medical aid in dying.

RoundGlass, End of Life Collective

A free online community, with a curation of articles and videos, to help you through life’s most vulnerable times.
A comprehensive planning guide for these meaningful and too often hurried events.
Here you can order a care package for someone experiencing a loss or responsible for caring for those in transition and their families. It is the project of funeral director and Compassion & Choices African American Leadership Council member, Joel Simone Anthony.

 This valuable tool allows you to upload your documents so you and others have ready access to them, wherever you may be. Streamlined resources are free of charge, while a monthly unlocks more features.

An online community for connection, support and sharing resources for those grieving a loss.
A card game and a great way to “begin the conversation”. The cards help you find words to talk about what is important if you were to be living a life that may be shortened by serious illness.