LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Archdiocese of Las Vegas is waging war with state lawmakers over an assisted-suicide bill.
Senate Bill 239 (SB239), also known as the Medical Aid in Dying bill, is currently sitting on Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo’s desk.
Lombardo has until Monday to make a decision on whether to veto SB239 or sign it into law.
“The Catholic Church and the Nevada Catholic Conference hold a position that God alone is the author of life and the sole arbiter of death,” Montie Chavez, co-director of the Nevada Catholic Conference, said.
For Chavez and the greater Las Vegas Catholic community, SB239 tramples values held by the Roman Catholic Church for thousands of years.
The bill passed by only one vote in the State Senate in April but had more support in the Assembly in May passing 23-9.
“One of the common arguments that is brought up is that there are safeguards with this bill, right? And in every state or country where this has passed, gradually those safeguards get removed,” Chavez said.
Eleven states have legalized medical aid in dying.
Qualifying patients must be 18 years old, deemed mentally competent, and diagnosed terminal with six months or less to live by two different doctors.
Lynda Brooks-Bracey of Nevada has testified in support of SB239.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer, she’s currently undergoing experimental treatment in California.
“I happen to be a Christian. I have a great belief in God, my faith. I don’t believe for me in my faith that God ask me for excessive suffering. That’s not the God that I know,” Brooks-Bracey said.
Brooks-Bracey adds that most terminally ill people are trying to survive as long as they can.
SB239 would only serve as the last option, and she implores Lombardo to sign the bill.
“He’s invited to my home to see what my family and other families in Nevada have to go through the last weeks of their lives,” Brooks-Bracey said.
The bill will also ensure that if someone goes through a medically assisted death, it wouldn’t be listed as a suicide but as a “terminal illness at hand.”