On Tuesday, California Assembly Members Susan Talamantes Eggman, Mark Stone, and Luis Alejo introduced the California End of Life Option Act in their chamber of the state legislature. The bill is nearly identical to Senate Bill 128, sponsored by Senators Bill Monning and Lois Wolk and passed by the Senate on June 4, with amendments fine-tuning the process of obtaining medications.
The bill will head next week to a special Assembly Health Committee, established by Governor Jerry Brown for an extraordinary legislative session to consider pending healthcare issues. This means that AB 2X-15, the amended End of Life Option Act, will not have to go through three committees as it did in the Senate. Instead, the bill will only have to be heard in the one special committee and reviewed by a fiscal-impact committee.
You may have heard opponents of Death with Dignity in California rejoice when the Senators pulled the bill from Committee due to lack of support. The detractors claimed the bill was dead. In reality, the Senators went back to work on the bill and the revised version addresses the concerns of a few hesitant Assembly Members. The Assembly will have until September 11 to approve the bill.
In recent weeks, judges in San Diego and in San Francisco dismissed two separate lawsuits which challenged California’s assisted dying statute; both judges stated that the issue whether Californians have the right to use a Death with Dignity law should be decided by the California legislature. This is why it’s now even more important the bill moves forward in the Assembly.
If you are a Golden State resident, let your Assembly Member know that every Californian, if faced with a horrible death from a terminal illness, deserves to die peacefully at the time and place of their choosing. Send him or her this letter today.
With your help, we are confident the bill will pass. As always, we are grateful for your advocacy efforts.
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