Assisted suicide bill introduced in Nevada Senate

CARSON CITY — Terminally ill patients could voluntarily end their lives with doctor-prescribed medication under a bill introduced Monday in the Nevada Senate.

Senate Bill 261, introduced by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, allows a patient over 18 years old to request life-ending drugs if their conditions are terminal and likely to result in death within six months. At least two doctors would have to verify the diagnosis.

The patient must be a Nevada resident and mentally competent to make the life-ending decision. It would also require the patient be able to self-administer the drugs.

A similar bill was introduced in the 2015 Legislature, but Republican Sen. Joe Hardy, a Boulder City physician, member of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, refused to hold a hearing.

Five states — California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — allow physicians to aid in the dying of terminally ill patients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Montana, a court ruling protects doctors from prosecution for helping dying patients end their lives.

SB261 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.