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Nevada assisted-suicide bill moves to Senate for vote

Updated March 20, 2019 - 5:54 pm

CARSON CITY — A divided legislative committee on Wednesday moved Nevada’s proposed physician-assisted suicide law to the full Senate for a vote with amendments, one of which would bar the use of telehealth in connection with the law’s provisions.

Senate Bill 165 would permit physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to legal state residents who have been deemed competent, are at least 18 years old, have a terminal condition diagnosed by two doctors, have made both spoken and written requests to die and can self-administer the drugs. Two people would have to serve as witnesses, one of them not a relative or recipient of any death benefit.

The bill drew lengthy testimony at its initial hearing last month. With no comment Wednesday, the Senate Health and Human Services committee split 3-2 along party lines to move the bill to the Senate floor with a recommendation to pass it, with Democrats voting in favor.

Besides the telehealth prohibition, two other amendments deal with how details of a person’s death are officially recorded, such as on a death certificate.

Nevada will become the seventh state to permit physician-assisted suicide if the bill prevails. The same measure failed in 2017, passing the Senate by one vote but dying in an Assembly committee.

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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