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Las Vegas senator brings back assisted suicide bill

Updated February 14, 2019 - 5:42 pm

CARSON CITY — A bill that would make Nevada the seventh state to allow doctor-assisted suicide is back before lawmakers.

Senate Bill 165, sponsored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, and 16 other legislators, was introduced in the Senate Thursday and referred to the Health and Human Services committee for hearings.

Like the 2017 bill that Parks sponsored, the measure would permit physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to patients who are state residents at least 18 years old, have been terminally diagnosed by two doctors, are deemed competent, have made both spoken and written requests and can self-administer the drugs.

A divided Senate in 2017 approved the bill 11-10. It was heard in Assembly committee but no votes were taken and the bill died. A state poll conducted as it was being considered found 3-1 support among Nevadans for it.

Oregon was the first state where doctor-assisted suicide became legal via a ballot measure in 1994. Since then five states and the District of Columbia have authorized it.

California, Colorado, Vermont, Washington, and most recently Hawai’i have passed laws. In Montana, a 2009 court ruling found nothing in statute there to prohibit it.

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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