Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Nevada suicide prevention advocate comments on assisted suicide bill.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Richard Davis, who is a senior and a suicide prevention advocate commented on the Nevada assisted suicide bill in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on April 13, 2021. Davis comments on the Nevada suicide rate by stating:
Currently, Nevada has the highest national rate of senior suicides in the nation. One of the top reasons many seniors give for desiring assisted suicide is not untreatable pain or lack of dignity in dying, but the feeling that they are a burden.

Assembly Bill 351 which would legalize assisted suicide in Nevada, sends the message to seniors who are living with chronic conditions that they are an unnecessary burden to their families and communities.
Davis then comments on the fact that the bill requires the doctor to lie on the death certificate
I think it is particularly pernicious that the bill requires the cause of death be listed as the chronic condition of the patient rather than suicide. Is this a backdoor way for Nevada to artificially lower our highest-in-the-nation suicide rates?
Davis comments on the problem of depression among seniors:
Depression among seniors is a major risk for suicide, and this bill does not require that a person seeking assisted suicide be evaluated for treatable and manageable clinical depression.
Davis then points out that funding for a suicide prevention hotline is being considered alongside the assisted suicide bill:
It is ironic that in the same legislative session in which AB351 is being advanced the life-saving Senate Bill 390 — to establish and fund the 9-8-8 statewide suicide prevention hotline — is also being advocated. The contrast between the two bills shows the moral confusion of our state lawmakers.

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