Nevada Death with Dignity Act Passes Senate Health & Human Services Committee

March 21, 2019

(CARSON CITY, NV – March 20, 2019) — The Senate Health & Human Services Committee voted today 3 to 2 to approve the Death with Dignity Act (SB 165), Nevada’s proposed medical aid-in-dying legislation introduced by Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas). The bipartisan bill has 16 additional sponsors and cosponsors. The bill would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or fewer to live the option to request and receive a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes unbearable. The bill now advances to the Senate Floor for its readings and floor vote.

“As every day passes, it becomes more and more critical for Nevada residents facing terminal illnesses to have the full range of end-of-life options, including medical aid in dying,” said Ashley Cardenas, Policy & Programs Director for Compassion & Choices and Las Vegas local. “We are grateful to Senator Parks and a record number of cosponsors for their continued dedication in bringing this vital and compassionate legislation to the terminally ill people of Nevada.”

A majority of Americans believe that a dying person’s decision whether to end their suffering belongs between them and their doctor, based on their own values. Nearly three out of four Nevada voters (72 percent) support legislation “expanding the right of terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to legally obtain prescription medication to end their lives,” according to a survey by Public Policy Polling. Support for legislation is bipartisan and diverse: Hispanic voters (63 percent), Catholics (76 percent), Protestants (65 percent), and voters of all ages and education levels are all in favor of expanding the rights of the terminally ill.

Medical aid-in-dying legislation is supported by a majority of Nevadans as well as state organizations, groups and chapters such as the ACLU, AARP, Nevada Association of Health Plans, National Association of Social Workers and the Nevada Libertarian Party. In addition, the Nevada Medical Society adopted a neutral position on the bill, joining the Nevada Psychiatric Association and Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.

Four new jurisdictions — California, Colorado, Washington, DC and Hawai‘i — have authorized medical aid in dying since 2015. These advancements demonstrate the strong national public support for medical aid in dying that has been evident since the practice was first authorized in Oregon more than 20 years ago.

Compassion & Choices
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Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
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(323) 819 0310

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