House Committee on Health

Arkansas Legislature

An Arkansas House committee failed to take action on a bill would allow physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. The proposal would have allowed patients who have a disease verified by the appropriate physician as life ending, the option to seek medication that would kill them.

Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, presented the bill to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Tuesday. He said it would just give another option of care for patients who are suffering.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A bill that would expand the procedures optometrists in Arkansas could perform on a patient, including some surgery, failed in committee after a close vote. The legislation allows optometrists to use ophthalmic lasers for some surgical procedures, an action that is currently prohibited.

The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor, did not pass the legislation on Tuesday, after hearing people speak for and against the bill. The committee limited testimony to 30 minutes to each side, with each side taking the entirety of that time.