Nevada Senate Health & Human Services Committee Hears End-of-Life Options Bill

Supporters Optimistic Senate Support Will Continue
February 25, 2019

(Carson City, NV – Feb. 25, 2019) Compassion & Choices and the Death with Dignity National Center today praised the Nevada Senate Health & Human Services Committee for moving forward a bill that would allow terminally ill Nevada adults to end their lives peacefully.

Sponsored by Senator David Parks (D-Las Vegas) and 16 other legislators, SB 165 would allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months to live the option to request and receive a prescription for medication which they could take to die peacefully. SB 165 is closely modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has demonstrated for more than 20 years that these laws work to protect patients. Nevada would be the 9th jurisdiction to allow terminally ill patients this end-of-life option.

“We are grateful to Nevada legislators for their support in providing these end-of-life options for terminally ill Nevadans,” said Peg Sandeen, executive director for Death with Dignity National Center. “Their support is a historic step forward for Nevadans with terminal illnesses. They are depending upon their legislative representatives to give them this option based on the quality of their final days of life and on their own personal beliefs.”

“This bill is important for dying Nevadans who face unnecessary and unbearable suffering in their final days,” said Ashley Cardenas, Policy Director for Compassion & Choices and Las Vegas local. “We are hopeful the Nevada Legislature and Governor’s office will follow the Committee’s lead and make the passing this bill a top priority to relieve dying Nevadans who can’t wait another year for legislative action.”

Dan Diaz and Ashley Cardenas testify before legislators Nevada
Dan Diaz and Ashley Cardenas testify before legislators in Nevada
Seventy-two percent of Nevada residents support medical aid in dying legislation. Support rose to 75 percent after respondents heard additional information about the bill), according to the survey by Public Policy Polling. Support for the bill is bipartisan and diverse: Hispanic voters (63 percent); Catholics (76 percent); Protestants (65 percent) and voters of all ages and education levels all in favor of expanding the rights of the terminally ill.

The bill contains the same safeguards for patients which have worked so well in other states. The core safeguards and key provisions in the bill include:

  • The patient must be diagnosed with a terminal condition by two physicians and have six months left to live.
  • The patient must be judged of sound mind and may be required to visit with a licensed mental health professional if there is any concern they lack capacity.
  • The patient must be informed of all end-of-life choices including palliative care and hospice care.
  • The patient must make both an oral and written request at least 15 days apart.
  • The written request must be signed by two witnesses, one of whom is not a family member or heir.
  • The medication must be self-administered by the patient.
  • Health professionals, hospitals or pharmacists may choose not to participate for any reason.
  • The patient may rescind the request at any time, in any manner.
  • Life and other insurance cannot be invalidated by the use of this law.


Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
Media Relations Director
[email protected]

Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
[email protected]
(323) 819 0310

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