When the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide offered as a bill in the Legislature earlier this year, it never even got a hearing.
Years ago, that might have suited Sen. Patricia Farley, R-Las Vegas, just fine. She grew up in a very strictly conservative Catholic household. And she didn't believe in suicide, in any form.
Then she watched her stepmother die slowly and in agony for three months.
"It was very hard to watch, this was in Arizona, to watch her pass away in so much pain even though it was managed very well, she had excellent doctors and nurses," Farley said, "But as a family member, to see somebody suffer so much and the end stages of their life look nothing like the life that they led."
Farley said she understand that for some people allowing a family member to die naturally is what they want, but she believes there needs to be options for people.
"When you have the opportunity to watch something like that happen it gives you a whole new perspective on why people might make those decisions and why some people may not want that to be their last walk on Earth ends," she said.
Now Farley said she will be a co-signer to another bill to legalize doctor-assisted suicide in Nevada. A similar bill, which she also co-signed, failed to even get a hearing in the Legislature earlier this year.
"I think as a state we need to make sure its done safely, but I don't think the state and the government should be interfering," Farley said.
State Sen. Joe Hardy, also a Republican, killed the bill in committee. A physician and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said he agreed with hospice and palliative care only.
"I fully support Sen. Hardy's position and I would never ever put a bill that would require someone not to be able to opt out because of religious beliefs or their beliefs about their jobs," she said.
Farley said there are other provision in the bill that address concerns from people opposed to the idea, including requiring a second opinion, asking for a signed consent from a family member, and approval from two physicians that the person is mentally capable of making that decision.
Farley said people should understand that people with painful, terminal illnesses have been choosing to kill themselves of years, this bill would just make it legal and safe.
Sen. Patricia Farley, R-Las Vegas
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