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House approves bill targeting assisted suicide

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has approved 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 offering and providing the physical means used to commit suicide, such as a gun. Current state statute does not clearly define what it means to ``assist.''

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

The House approved the bill by a 41-18. It will now move to the Senate.

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