By Chris Haring

Despite overwhelming popular support, Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed an end-of-life bill that would have legalized physician-assisted dying

Right-to-die patients and advocates suffered a significant setback in Nevada on Monday, June 5, as Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed SB239, which would have legalized medical aid in dying in the state.

Greg Haas reported for CBS 8 News Now that despite polling data demonstrating Nevadans’ overwhelming support for the measure, legislative “votes on SB239 were closer than… on any other bill.” Even though a strong majority of Nevada Republicans support the bill, it was sponsored exclusively by Democrats — and the bill passed in both chambers on straight party line votes.

Following his veto – the Governor’s 32nd of the current legislative session – Lombardo released a statement on his decision. From its first sentence, the message employs misleading and inaccurate language to unfairly conflate medical aid in dying with what he called “physician-assisted suicide.” That Lombardo chose to use the inflammatory language preferred by our opponents, while at the same time refusing to meet with advocates for the bill, confirms that his intent all along was to deny terminally ill patients this choice at the end of life.

Lombardo’s statement claimed that “…expansions in palliative care services and continued improvement in advanced pain management make the end-of-life provisions in SB239 unnecessary.” But as we know, patients have told us for decades that medicine alone cannot always prevent the physical and emotional pain that comes at the end of life.

“It’s ironic that [Governor] Lombardo signed legislation protecting doctors who perform abortions on 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. With this veto, Lombardo clearly listened to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and not the people of Nevada,” said Geoff Sugerman, National Campaign Strategist for Death with Dignity, who has worked for nearly a decade to help pass this law in Nevada.

Read the full article below:

End-of-life pill vetoed by Lombardo despite widespread support in Nevada

by: Greg Haas

Posted: Jun 5, 2023 / 07:59 PM PDT, Updated: Jun 5, 2023 / 08:23 PM PDT

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed the “medical-aid-in-dying” bill on Monday — the so-called end-of-life pill.

Lombardo has now vetoed 32 bills this session, turning away proposals passed by the Democrat-majority Nevada Legislature. Lombardo’s message in vetoing Senate Bill 239 (SB239):

“SB239 allows for physician assisted suicide in the State of Nevada. End of life decisions are never easy. Individuals and family members must often come together to face many challenges — including deciding what is the best course of medical treatment for a loved one. Fortunately, expansions in palliative care services and continued improvement in advanced pain management make the end-of-life provisions in SB239 unnecessary.

“Given recent progress in science and medicine and the fact that only a small number of states and jurisdictions allow for similar end-olf-life protocols, I am not comfortable supporting this bill.”

SB239 was one of the most talked-about pieces of legislation this session, with 262 comments in support and 632 comments against. Despite that disparity, a poll released by the group Compassion & Choices says 82% of Nevadans support medical-aid-in-dying legislation.

“Despite these record-high poll numbers in support of medical aid in dying, thousands of phone calls, petitions and emails Gov. Lombardo refused to meet with bill supporters before becoming the first governor to veto a medical-aid-in-dying bill,” Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion & Choices Action Network, said in a news release shortly after the veto.

Republican Assemblyman Toby Yurek tweeted in support of the veto: “Thank you @JoeLombardoNV for choosing to protect life. #nvleg #nvad19”

SB239, sponsored by nine Democrats and co-sponsored by 10 more, would have allowed terminally ill Nevadans to self-administer medication to end their own lives. The bill contained a number of steps to ensure the decision was not influenced by others, as well as legal protections for medical personnel involved in the process.

Votes on SB239 were closer than votes on any other bill as it passed through the Legislature. Several of the approvals came by only a single vote.

The patient’s death certificate would state the cause of death as the terminal condition, the bill specifies. The death would not be considered “mercy killing, euthanasia, assisted suicide, suicide or homicide when done in accordance with the provisions of this bill.”

SB239 also specifies that insurance companies are prohibited from making refusing to sell, provide or issue a policy based on a patient’s interest in ending their life this way. Insurance policies must be honored, the bill indicates.

The fatal dose would have been dispensed by a physician or pharmacist — but administered by the patient. The legislation does not specify a drug that would be used.