Arizona

2017 Bill (SB 1439) passes to protect providers is assisted suicide is ever legalized
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed SB 1439 which protects state health care providers from discrimination if the do not provide or facilitate assisted suicide if it ever becomes legal in Arizona.
Text of bill

2017 Bill — did not pass
HB 2336
Text of bill

2016 Doctor-prescribed Suicide Bills — did not pass
HB 2347
Text of bill
Analysis of bill

SB 1136
Text of bill

Current law regarding assisted suicide:
A person commits manslaughter by intentionally providing the physical means that another person uses to commit suicide, with the knowledge that the person intends to commit suicide.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-1103 (A) (3)

In March 2017, a bill titled, “Prohibition on Discrimination Against Health Care Entities” was enacted.  It is a preventative measure the makes it clear that, in the event that assisted suicide is legalized in the state, health care providers could not be compelled to participate in providing or facilitating the deaths of patients.
Text of bill

News Articles

“Lawmakers OK End of Life Bill Protecting Providers”
(US News & World Report — March 21, 2017)
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that protects state health care providers and medical facilities from discrimination if they refuse to assist in services or provide items that result in the death of a person.

“Brewer signs bill targeting assisted suicide”
(April 30, 2014)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill that aims to make it easier to prosecute people who help someone commit suicide.
Text of HB 2565

“Assisted suicide results in nine year prison term”
(Arizona Star — November 4, 2013)
Tyler Christopher Gunn was sentenced for the January 2013 death of Katherine Lemberg, a friend whom Gunn helped commit suicide by taping a bag over her head and connecting it to a helium tank.

“Love, disease and a killing”
(Los Angeles Times — January 22, 2012)
A man kills his terminally ill wife. Maybe he ended her pain, but he hasn’t found peace for himself…He was particularly hard on himself for refusing the help family members had offered with Mary….She resisted at first, as he held the pillow over her face.

“Death Wish: The Final Exit volunteers call it assisted suicide.  Prosecutors may call it manslaughter”
(Phoenix New Times, 8/23/07)
Two “exit guides” from a Hemlock Society spin-off called the Final Exit Network are facing manslaughter charges in Arizona. (TheHemlock Society later merged with another sister organization and is currently known as Compassion and Choices.)  The possible charges stem from the assisted suicide of Jana Van Voorhis, a 58-year-old Phoenix woman, who was mentally ill.

Legislative Proposals

Assisted suicide advocates are introducing bills across the United States.  Arizona is among the states where proposals are almost routinely introduced in the state legislature.

In January 2007, Representative Linda Lopez introduced two bills to legalize assisted suicide.  That was not her first attempt to gain approval of assisted suicide in Arizona. As in previous years, the 2007 bills failed to get out of committee.

In 2003, she introduced a bill which would have legalized “aid-in-dying” to “terminate the life of a qualified patient.”   The bill did not get out of committee.

In January 2004, Lopez introduced a new bill, drafted by assisted suicide supporters under working title, “Patient Comfort and Control Act.” It also failed.

In January 2005, Lopez introduced two bill.  Both would permit assisted suicide.  One, called an “Aid-in-Dying” bill (HB 2313}, like Lopez’s 2003 bill, is virtually identical to Oregon’s assisted suicide law.  The second (HB 2311), is a reintroduction of the failed 2004 measure based on the Patient Comfort and Control Act.

  • Text of 2004 bill.