Nevada lawmakers consider enabling doctors to prescribe assisted-suicide drugs

Dr. T. Brian Callister, of Reno, board-certified in internal medicine and hospitalist medicine, said it would be a bad step.

“It’s giving a doctor permission to kill,” he said.

Callister says there are many factors why he and other colleagues are against the legislation, including that doctors are “notoriously bad” at predicting life expectancy.

He also says it’s an unnecessary option people take prematurely. Callister said two of his patients needed to transfer to other states because the procedures that could have helped their conditions were not available in Nevada. He said neither procedure would have been covered by their insurance, yet another option was on the table.

“They talked about considering assisted suicide,” he said. “Proponents of this bill want to point at Oregon or Washington to show how well it’s going. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

He said the majority of people requesting life-ending prescriptions have done so not because of pain but because they felt as though they were a burden on a family member.

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