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Updated Apr 16, 2014 - 5:12 pm

Arizona bill targets assisted suicide

PHOENIX — The Arizona Senate has given initial approval to a bill that
aims to make it easier to prosecute people who help someone commit suicide.

Republican Rep. Justin Pierce of Mesa says his bill will make it easier for
attorneys to prosecute people for manslaughter for assisting in suicide by more
clearly defining what it means to “assist.”

House Bill 2565 defines assisting in suicide as providing the physical means
used to commit suicide, such as a gun. The bill originally also defined assisted
suicide as “offering” the means to commit suicide, but a Senate amendment
omitted that word.

The proposal was prompted by a difficult prosecution stemming from a 2007
assisted suicide in Maricopa County.

The Senate gave initial approval on Wednesday. It must still cast a full
roll-call vote.

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