NV Senate Committee Passes SB261 On Party Line Vote. Governor Sandoval Opposes

Editor’s note. The following comes from Nevada Right to Life, NRLC’ state affiliate.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

After abruptly cancelling a hearing on April 12th in response to mass opposition to SB261, a bill that would legalize physician assisted suicide, a hearing was held on Wednesday May 10th in the Nevada State Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Yesterday the committee voted to pass and recommend SB261 on a party line vote. All Democrats supported SB261 and all Republicans opposed it. Governor Brian Sandoval opposes the policy of assisted suicide.

Doctor assisted suicide is a policy that the American Medical Association says “is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” That made it both surreal and unconscionable to grant opponents of the bill only 30 minutes to oppose such a dangerous and dramatic change in public policy, to limit witnesses to a mere two minutes and to cut off a dying woman, Stephanie Packer, from speaking.

Keeping bills like SB261 in the dark is a necessary tactic for supporters of doctor assisted suicide because, while bills like SB261 start out with what seems to be broad support, they almost always fail when the public finds out what the bill entails.

There have been about 140 attempts to pass assisted suicide measures in states with only five successes. This year, attempts to pass it in Hawaii, and New Mexico failed. Arizona, Louisiana, Georgia, Idaho and Ohio voted to strengthen their anti-assisted suicide statutes. It’s no doubt why the discussion on this bill was so limited. Please help us keep up the pressure and keep spreading the word to make sure that assisted suicide does not become legal in Nevada. Please see the action alert below.

SB261 has a long way to go and its supporters are pulling out all the stops. It must be passed by the Senate, have a committee hearing in the Assembly, pass out of the Assembly committee, be passed by the Assembly and be signed by Governor Sandoval, whose spokesperson says that Governor Sandoval does not support the policy.

We thank the governor for his opposition and are asking him to veto SB261. We ask our supporters to ask him to do the same. Please click to read Nevada Right to Life and National Right to Life’s statement of thanks to Governor Sandoval for opposing assisted suicide. Please see the action alert below to email governor Sandoval.

Thank you to everyone who has and is sending an email, making a call, passing on information or engaging the subject in social media or at media websites and more.

Actions Points for SB261 Doctor Assisted Suicide

1. Please email Governor Sandoval and tell him that you oppose SB261 (physician assisted suicide). Thank him for his public opposition to the policy and ask him to veto SB261. To email the governor, go to http://gov.nv.gov/Contact/Email-the-Governor and scroll down the page. Your emails are important to keeping doctor assisted suicide out of Nevada.

2. Please also email our Nevada Senators. Tell them you oppose SB261 physician assisted suicide and ask them to oppose it. You can copy and paste these email addresses and send a message to all senators.

Kelvin.Atkinson@sen.state.nv.us, Yvanna.Cancela@sen.state.nv.us,Nicole.Cannizzaro@sen.state.nvus, Moises.Denis@sen.state.nv.us,Patricia.Farley@sen.state.nv.us, Aaron.Ford@sen.state.nv.us,Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us, David.Parks@sen.state.nv.us,Julia.Ratti@sen.state.nv.us, Tick.Segerblom@sen.state.nv.us, Pat.Spearman@sen.state.nv.us, Joyce.Woodhouse@sen.state.nv.us,Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us,Pete.Goicoechea@sen.state.nv.us, Don.Gustavson@sen.state.nv.us,Scott.Hammond@sen.state.nv.us, Joe.Hardy@sen.state.nv.us,Becky.Harris@sen.state.nv.us, Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us,Heidi.Gansert@sen.state.nv.us, James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nvus

3. If you have not already done, so, please register your opposition to Doctor Assisted Suicide on the legislative website https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/79th2017/A/

Below are some talking points to consider on SB261. Consider one or two which appeal most to you.

Some Discussion Points for SB261 Doctor Assisted Suicide

Here are some talking points/facts to consider on SB261. Please consider one or two which appeal most to you. Please also check the EXCELLENT Nevadans Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide “Facts On Assisted Suicide” page for more talking points and facts.

1. Terminal Illness Prognosis is often not accurate and people could throw away years of their lives. Many people outlive the prognosis.

2. SB261 and doctor prescribed suicide puts too much power in a doctor’s hands and corrupts the medical profession. Jeanette Hall was considering doctor prescribed suicide, but her doctor said no and encouraged treatment. Some 15 years later she said “If my doctor had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead. … Assisted suicide should not be legal.” A pro-assisted suicide doctor can push the person to commit suicide and throw away years of their lives.

3. “Choice is an Illusion” when it comes to doctor assisted suicide. Once assisted suicide becomes a medical option, it will be the cheapest option and provide incentive for insurers to save money and enhance profits by denying treatment. Making doctor assisted suicide legal will take away choices from many other patients. Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup in Oregon were both notified by the Oregon Health Plan that it would pay for their suicide pills but not for treatment.

4. Doctor shopping. Elder abuse is rampant in Nevada and America. Nothing in the bill will prevent an interested party or the prescribing doctor from looking for a doctor who will prescribe death if the first second doctor says no. Kate Cheney’s family in Oregon found another doctor when her doctor declined to affirm her request for suicide due to her increasing dementia and concern about pressure from her daughter. In Oregon 88 percent of the case of doctor assisted suicides were helped by the group Compassion and Choices. (Marilyn Golden, see p. 12).

There are just a few of the many arguments against SB261 and problems with it and doctor prescribed suicide. Thank you to everyone for your help. It all adds up. Please remember to see the Nevadan’s Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide “Facts On Assisted Suicide” page for more talking points.