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End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues
If those who are dying are embraced by their family and their community, they will not seek death, but will live their last days well, and then accept death when it comes.
This page contains information on legal and policy matters.
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Having fallen short of winning the California legislature’s approval for physician-assisted suicide, advocates for the highly controversial practice are now are focusing on the courts. Other end runs are probably also in the works
"Compassion and Choices," which has been working to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide medication for decades, has been employing a multi-prong approach this year, including legislation (which is failing passage around the nation), initiative campaigns and lawsuits.
Lack of Support Stymies Assisted-Suicide Bill in California
With minimal support and scant votes, SB 128 (Wolk, D-Davis) was pulled for a second time in two weeks from the Assembly Health Committee and is most likely finished for the year.
The bill would have allowed terminally ill patients to request lethal drugs to end their life. Resistance to SB 128 increased after passage in the Senate. Opponents continued to focus on the effects this legislation would have on the vulnerable and those on subsidized health care.
Sacramento, CA - The No On SB 128/Californians Against Assisted Suicide coalition issued the following statement today from Marilyn Golden, No On SB 128 co-chair and Senior Policy Analyst for the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund:
Statement from the Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference, Ned Dolejsi regarding SB 128 (Physician-Assisted Suicide)
"This morning we received the news that SB128 has been pulled from the agenda at the Assembly Health Committee and that the bill will not be considered again this year.
Two recent court decisions have eroded limits of the Netherlands 2002 euthanasia law, appearing to open assisted suicide doors even wider in a country which now euthanizes nearly 5,000 people a year.
In Oregon, legislators are making similar attempts to expand when people can ask a physician to help them kill themselves.
Oregon's first-in-the-nation law empowers doctors to give life-ending drugs to people if they are judged to be within six months of death. Oregon's law is widely used as the standard for similar measures proposed this year in at least 20 states.
Barely noticed, however, is the desire of a key Oregon physician-assisted suicide legislator to double the "likely-to-die" window for death medicine to a full year.
College freshman Lauren Hill, 19, died of inoperable brain cancer on April 10, surrounded by family and mourned by thousands.
Hill was a typical teen. She was a good student and good high school basketball player; colleges wanted her.
But three years ago she was diagnosed with a cancer that mostly strikes children. It is almost never survived.