Home>Articles>Disability Community On Defense Over Last Minute Hearing Of Assisted Suicide Bill

Nevada State Legislature building, Carson City, NV, Jul. 18, 2014. (Photo: James.Pintar/Shutterstock)

Disability Community On Defense Over Last Minute Hearing Of Assisted Suicide Bill

Last minute hearing poses significant challenges for disabled community to testify

By Megan Barth, March 14, 2023 11:45 am

The Globe has received a tip that Nevada’s disabled community has been disproportionately affected by last-minute legislative maneuvers related to Senate Bill 239, a 37 page bill which permits assisted suicide in Nevada. As of 7:30 am this morning, the legislative docket did not have a hearing scheduled. However, by 8:30 this morning a hearing in front of the Senate Committee of Health and Human Services was scheduled for 3:30 PM today. Four of the bills Democratic sponsors sit on the Senate Committee of Health and Human Services.

Democratic sponsors of Assisted Suicide Bill (Photo: leg.state.nv.us)

Our source told The Globe, “A six-hour notice for a hearing does not provide the disabled community enough time to get to Carson City to testify or prepare testimony for a 37 page bill that was just introduced last Thursday and posted for public review and comment this morning. The weather in Northern Nevada is also inhibiting their ability to travel. SB 239 effects the disabled community the most and this last-minute hearing deprives them of their rights to engage in the legislative process.”

SB 239 would allow a physician’s assistant, a nurse or a physician to prescribe end of life medication to a patient that has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and allows the patient to self-administer the medication. The law further requires a death certificate to list the terminal condition of the patient as the cause of death and prohibits “a coroner, coroner’s deputy or local health officer” from investigating such a death under certain circumstances.

California, Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, and Washington have passed similar bills allowing physician assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Oregon has expanded their law to provide assisted suicide for out-of-state patients. Recently, controversy erupted as Canada considered expanding assisted suicide coverage to mental illness and chronically disabled patients.


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