Nevada Legislature Lets Down Terminally Ill Nevadans by Not Passing Medical Aid-In-Dying Bill, Advocates Say

Vow to Pass End of Life Options Act in Near Future
June 1, 2021

(Carson City) Advocates for Nevada legislation that would allow terminally ill adults to peacefully end intolerable suffering expressed great disappointment that state lawmakers were unable to pass it in the 2021 legislative session, but vowed to pass it in the near future. 

“We are deeply disappointed that legislators ran out of time to try to pass the End of Life Options Act (AB 351),” said Sam DeWitt, Nevada Campaign Manager for Compassion & Choices Action Network. “We are thankful to Assemblymember Edgar Flores for introducing this compassionate legislation. This temporary setback will not deter us from passing this bill in the near future for the 73 percent of Nevadans whose last wish is to die peacefully.”

The End of Life Options Act would have allowed terminally ill, mentally capable adults in Nevada to have the option to request and receive prescription medication they could decide to take to peacefully end their suffering if it becomes unbearable. 

Nearly three out of four Nevada voters support medical aid in dying legislation, across the ethnic, political and religious spectrum. Support for this legislation is diverse: 73% of Hispanics/Latinos, 76% of African Americans, 67% of Catholics, 67% of non-denominational Christians, 74% of other religions favor a medical aid-in-dying measure, according to a poll conducted in February by Public Policy Polling.

Medical-aid-in-dying legislation is supported by numerous Nevada state organizations, groups and chapters, such as the ACLU of Nevada, 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 Nevada Psychiatric Association and Nevada State Board of Pharmacy. 

Ten jurisdictions have authorized medical aid in dying including nine states, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Maine, Montana (via state Supreme Court ruling), New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, as well as Washington, D.C. In April, this end-of-life care option was signed into law in New Mexico that will take effect in mid-June. Collectively, these 11 jurisdictions represent one out of five U.S. residents (22%) and have decades of combined experience successfully implementing this medical practice.  

About Compassion & Choices and Compassion & Choices Network

Compassion & Choices is comprised of two organizations that improve care and expand options at life’s end: Compassion & Choices (501(c)(3)) educates, empowers, defends, and advocates; the Compassion & Choices Action Network (501(c)(4)) focuses exclusively on legislation, ballot campaigns, and limited electoral work. 

Paid for by Compassion & Choices Action Network. 

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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.