Bill gives the terminally ill ‘death with dignity’ option

Bill gives the terminally ill ‘death with dignity’ option
Arkansas Capitol building in Little Rock. (Source: KAIT-TV)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KARK) - A bill introduced in this legislative session would allow terminally ill patients in Arkansas to end their own lives with the help of a doctor.

“Some things in life are worse than death,” Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville told Little Rock television station KARK. “I’ve had friends that have suffered with bone cancer. I’ve been in a room, you hear a pop and it’s the bone breaking from the pressure of the cancer inside. Just the agony and trauma.”

The legislation, House Bill 1536, would create an exception to the state’s ban on physician-assisted suicide.

It would allow doctors to prescribe patients with lethal doses of medicine to end their lives if they have mental clarity.

A patient would have to ask a doctor twice over a two-week period to write the prescription.

If the doctor does, he or she would have to file a report with the Arkansas Department of Health.

Little Rock faith-based group Family Council is opposed to the bill.

“There’s not a crying need here in Arkansas for people to go out and kill themselves just because they have a bad disease,” said Family Council president Jerry Cox.

The bill also would not require health care facilities or providers to participate in the procedure.

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