By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the Senate Health Committee voted to give a favorable report to House Bill 96, which bans assisted suicide in Alabama. The Assisted Suicide Ban Act prohibits individuals or healthcare providers from assisting someone to commit suicide.
HB96 is being sponsored by state Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City). Rep. Butler told the Health Committee that the bill would not punish hospice nurses who give their dying patients morphine in order to ease their pain, even if it speeds their end.
Rep. Butler said that this legislation was needed because some other states are starting to legalize and even encourage physicians to assist persons who want to die in that effort.
State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) said that he was concerned that government might be going a little too far telling people how they live their lives.
Rep. Butler said that we are making assisting someone with suicide illegal, not making suicide illegal.
Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) expressed concern with how much money the State was spending to defend Pro-Life bills.
Sen. Melson made the motion for a favorable report and that motion carried.
There was no one present in objection so there was no request for a public hearing.
The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and next goes to the floor of the Senate.