Nevada lawmakers are once again considering legislation to allow terminal patients to kill themselves with medication prescribed by a doctor.

Republican lawmakers raised questions over patient safeguards and patient competency and coercion, among other specifics in the Democrat-backed legislation. The measure heard in a Senate committee on Monday would make Nevada the seventh state to enact similar laws.

Supporters argue the legislation will let the patients who are suffering die with dignity. Opponent Dr. T. Brian Callister has said the legislation would give a “perverse financial” incentive to insurance companies.

People gather at the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, Nev. before a hearing on a bill that would allow terminal patients to kill themselves with medication prescribed by a doctor Monday, Feb. (AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
People gather at the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, Nev. before a hearing on a bill that would allow terminal patients to kill themselves with medication prescribed by a doctor Monday, Feb. (AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)

The medication under the bill would only be provided to adults who are diagnosed to be within six months of death and are of “sound mental health.”

Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center, gave an overview of the bill to lawmakers and said she supports the option only being used by a limited number of people.

The non-profit organization reports that six states have such statutes.

Physician-assisted suicide legislation narrowly passed the state Senate last legislative session by an 11-10 vote. The measure did not cross the finish line in the Assembly.

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