Exciting news! Californians are now one step closer to having Death with Dignity as an end-of-life option: The Assembly’s Extraordinary Session Public Health and Developmental Services Committee yesterday approved ABX2 15, the California End of Life Option Act, on a 10 to 3 vote.
Things looked calm outside the California State Capitol when I got there but the hearing almost didn’t happen. Last minute objections from various quarters to some of the provisions made for some hectic maneuvering. Going into the hearing room we were cautiously confident we had the votes, including from some recalcitrant Assembly Members. But you just never know until the final vote is tallied.
Letters from our California constituents to their Assembly Members made a huge difference, and the Golden State residents continue sending them (if you are a California resident, please send a letter to your Assembly Member telling them to support the End of Life Option Act). A terminally ill woman, a pastor, an oncologist, and Brittany Maynard’s husband provided powerful testimonies in support. I’m just a tad biased, but the opposition’s testimonies, consisting largely of alleged horror stories of coercion from Oregon, were unpersuasive.
The overwhelmingly positive vote is a great victory. California is now much closer to having a Death with Dignity law than at any point in the past.
This was just another battle, however. The bill has to get through the finance committee and a vote by the full Assembly, all during this week or Tuesday at the latest. If the bill passes both tests, the Senate will have to approve the bill by Friday, September 11, when the session adjourns for the year. The Senate voted for a similar bill back in June, we’re hopeful they’ll do it again.
Your support has been an inspiration to me in this process, thank you for all your gifts.
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