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December 12, 2016 (Alex Schadenberg) — Great news: The Ohio Senate passed HB 470 last Thursday night.

Ohio has become the Fifth State in the past few years to strengthen protections in law from assisted suicide.

The Ohio Senate voted on House Bill 470, a bill that would make assisting a suicide a felony in Ohio on Thursday December 8. HB 470 had previously passed in the Ohio House last May by a vote of 92 – 5.

Jeremy Pelzer, reported for Cleveland.com  on November 7 before the vote that:

House Bill 470 … would make knowingly assisting in a suicide a third-degree felony in Ohio, punishable by up to five years in prison. 

Currently, Ohio law only permits a court to issue an injunction against anyone helping other people to kill themselves. 

If the Senate passes the bill on Thursday – expected to be the last day of the legislative session – it would head to Gov. John Kasich for his signature. The measure passed the Ohio House 92-5 last May. 

State Sen. Bill Seitz, the Cincinnati Republican who authored HB 470, said the legislation mirrors Michigan's 1998 ban on assisted suicide, which was passed in response to Dr. Jack Kevorkian's well-publicized campaign.

In the past few years GeorgiaIdahoLouisiana, and Arizona have passed bills to strengthen protection from assisted suicide.

Reprinted with permission from Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.