Nevada Medical Aid-in-Dying Bill Clears Assembly
May 24, 2023 Nevada
Dying Mom, Supporters Urge Governor Lombardo to Sign End of Life Options Act
A dying Las Vegas mother, and families of loved ones who suffered needlessly while dying, praised the Nevada Assembly for passing a bill that would allow terminally ill adults the option of medical aid in dying to peacefully end unbearable suffering. The End of Life Options Act (SB 239), sponsored by Sen. Edgar Flores (D-Las Vegas) and 18 other sponsors, cleared the Assembly on a vote of 23-19. The Senate passed the bill on April 19.
A new poll conducted last month shows 82% of Nevadans support medical aid-in-dying legislation, a jump of 10 points from the 72% from a 2021 poll. Nearly four out of five voters with disabilities (79%), Republicans (78%), Democrats (76%), Catholics (77%) and Protestants (80%) said they personally wanted the option of medical aid in dying if they had an incurable, terminal illness, according to the new survey of 600 registered Nevada voters. The survey was conducted April 10-13 by Susquehanna Polling & Research and sponsored by Compassion & Choices Action Network.
No governor has ever vetoed a medical aid-in-dying bill in any of six states that have passed such laws via legislative action, including California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and Vermont.
“It has taken the Nevada End of Life Options Act eight long years since its original introduction in 2015 to get to this point,” said Sara Manns, Nevada campaign director for Compassion & Choices Action Network. “The people of Nevada are hopeful Gov. Lombardo will sign this urgent and compassionate bill to give dying Nevadans the option to die peacefully, not painfully.”
The bill’s passage brought tears to the eyes of Lynda Brooks-Bracey, a 57-year-old Las Vegas mom of four, dying of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Lynda is using her final days to advocate for lawmakers to pass the bill that would allow terminally ill Nevada adults with six months or less to live the option to request and receive a prescription for medication that they could decide to take to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully.
“Governor Lombardo, I invite you to come to my door the final week that I pass away, and you stay in my house with my family and see what they have to go through and what I have to go through before you make the decision to say medical aid and dying shouldn't be here for your constituents,” she said. “Give us the option here in Nevada like so many other states have. This isn't something everybody has to participate in, but it's another choice.”
The bill’s passing also is very important for Hanna Olivas, a 49-year-old Las Vegas mother and grandmother living with a rare form of incurable blood cancer, multiple myeloma.
“Governor Lombardo, I am asking you to sign this bill, as it puts much-needed peace in the hearts of patients,” she said. “We urge you to sign this bill as we fight for our lives.”
Eleven jurisdictions have authorized medical aid in dying, including 10 states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — as well as Washington, D.C. Collectively, these 11 jurisdictions represent one out of five U.S. residents (22%) and have decades of combined experience successfully implementing this medical practice, starting with Oregon in 1997.