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Bill targeting assisted suicide goes to governor

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has given final 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 House approved the bill 35-19 Wednesday. It will now go to the governor's desk.

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