News Channel 8's web poll revealed that 91% of respondents agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Oregon, allowing a doctor to help a terminally ill patient take their life.
But public opinion wont necessarily spark political action here in Nevada. Craig Klugman, the chair of Health Care Ethics at UNR says Nevada is a far more conservative state than Oregon, and even though we have the highest suicide rate in the nation, its unlikely an assisted-suicide law will pass here.
Klugman also explains that the Court's decision is will have a significant impact on patient care everywhere. That's because the Bush Administration tried to challenge Oregon's law by using federal drug legislation, targeting the doctors who prescribed lethal doses. Doctors can be prosecuted by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and Klugman says that worry has an impact on what doctors give their patients.
But Tuesday's decision will prevent that from happening. Klugman says this will allow doctors to more effectively treat their patients who are suffering from extreme pain.