In October, terminally ill cancer patient, Brittany Maynard, became the face of the assisted suicide movement in our country. Brittany had stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most deadly form of brain cancer and was given six-months to live.
After her diagnosis, Brittany decided to move from her California home to Oregon so she could have access to lethal drugs to use to take her life. Oregon is one of five states, along with New Mexico, Montana, Washington, and Vermont that allow assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Tragically, on November 2nd, Brittany legally ended her own life with a lethal drug.
Now, lawmakers in Nevada are preparing legislation that would legalize assisted suicide in their state. State Senator David Parks (D-Las Vegas) announced that he will sponsor an assisted suicide measure in Nevada’s biennial 2015 legislative session, which starts February 2nd. The Senator also stated that the bill will be number one on his list of legislative priorities and if it fails, he’ll organize a grass-roots campaign and try again in 2017.
Sen. Parks said, “In basic discussions, pretty much absolutely everyone whom I’ve talked to has a devastating story to inform with regards to a pal or relative who died beneath unbearable situations exactly where this legislation would have offered an option to enduring excruciating agony.”
In an Oct. 14th article published on CNN’s website the senior policy analyst with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Marilyn Golden, explained why their organization is against the legislation. She said, “At significantly less than $300, assisted suicide is, to place it bluntly, the cheapest treatment for a terminal illness. If life-sustaining high priced treatment is denied or even merely delayed, individuals will be steered toward assisted suicide exactly where it is legal. To say to an individual, ‘We’ll pay for you to die, but not for you to live’ — it’s cruel.”
Melissa Clement, the President of Nevada Right to Life, also commented on the proposed legislation.
“One must merely look to Oregon to see the reasons why dignity has nothing to do with what our state is considering,” Clement said. “In any other context, suicidal ideation would be cause for great concern because it is one of the leading indicators of depression or other serious mental distress. Yet somehow, if an individual is elderly and a burden, disabled and a burden, mentally ill, marginalized, or gravely ill — suicide, facilitated by a doctor, nurse, pharmacist — is the best option.”
ACTION: Contact your Nevada legislators and urge opposition to legalizing assisted suicide.