Partnering with People of Nevada on Proposed Patient Self-Determination Act

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We are proud to support Nevada Senators David Parks (D-Las Vegas) and Ben Kieckhefer (R-Carson City, Washoe) and the people of Nevada in proposing a Death with Dignity law to provide a peaceful and dignified death for those suffering from terminal illnesses. Senate Bill 336, the Nevada Patient Self-Determination Act, says that, in certain narrow circumstances, mentally competent terminally ill adults who are within the final six months of their lives will be allowed to peacefully end their lives. The Act provides strict safeguards, protects against coercion, and allows eligible terminally ill patients to spend their final days and moments at peace, surrounded by their family members and loved ones.

The Oregon Experience

“Twenty years ago last November, Oregon voters were the first to approve the Death with Dignity law after which the proposed Nevada legislation is modeled. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act has been implemented carefully and has helped to spur a national conversation about end-of-life care that will continue this year in Carson City,” said Peg Sandeen, Executive Director of the Death With Dignity National Center. “Our model legislation has been passed in Washington and Vermont, and those states are seeing the same careful implementation controlled by patients seeking to end their lives peacefully. This law has worked exactly as intended everywhere it has been adopted.”

The numerous safeguards in this law have worked well in Oregon for 18 years, in Washington for 7, and in Vermont for two. There have been no reports of coercion, failure, or misdeeds in any of these states. Far more people ask their doctor about the law than actually use it, but many find comfort knowing the law is available if their symptoms cannot be controlled. The legislation proposed by Senators Parks and Kieckhefer, together with their co-sponsors, provides peace of mind and control for the terminally ill while safeguarding against coercion for those who are vulnerable.

The Time Is Right for Nevada

“The Death with Dignity National Center is pleased to have assisted in drafting the proposed Nevada Patient Self-Determination Act. We will assist the Nevada efforts by providing our full political and strategic expertise from the successful campaigns in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont,” said Sandeen. “The time is right for Nevada to adopt this law. The Silver State has long been a leader in protecting individual rights, and it is thanks to this leadership that we are proud to join these efforts today.”

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