(Chris Woodward) – Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo this week vetoed a bill that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide in the state.
Lombardo said in a statement that “end of life decisions are never easy,” acknowledging that “individuals and family members must often come together to face many challenges including what is the best course of medical treatment” for a patient.
Senate Bill 239 reads: “The availability of medical aid in dying provides an additional palliative care option for persons with a terminal illness who seek to retain their autonomy and some level of control over the progression of their disease or ease unnecessary pain and suffering.”
Lombardo argued that “expansions in palliative care services and continued improvement in advanced pain management make the end-of-life provisions in SB239 unnecessary.”
The organization known as Death with Dignity criticized Lombardo’s veto of SB 239.
“It’s ironic that Lombardo signed legislation protecting doctors who perform abortions in women from states where it is now illegal, yet refuses to give dying patients who meet the strict guidelines of the law the power to control their own end-of-life choices,” Geoff Sugerman, a campaign strategist for the group, said in a statement. “With this veto, Lombardo clearly listened to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and not the people of Nevada.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a faith-based legal group, commended the Lombardo for the veto, adding the bill would have forced medical professionals to participate in ending the lives of their patients.
ADF Senior Counsel Denise Burke said in a statement “every life is sacred and has inherent value.”
“Physician-assisted suicide is neither compassionate nor an appropriate solution for those who are suffering—it ends an innocent human life without justification,” said Burke. “Furthermore, many bills that legalize physician-assisted suicide, including Senate Bill 239, violate the rights of conscience of healthcare professionals by forcing them to participate in ending the lives of their patients.”
Burke added that doctors prescribe medicine, not death.
“The state shouldn’t order them to act contrary to their duty to act as healers,” Burke said. “Thanks to [Lombardo], the integrity of the medical profession and the rights of conscience for health care professionals will not be violated by the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Nevada.”
Chris Woodward | The Center Square