NRL News

California Assembly passes assisted suicide bill, moves to the Senate

by | Sep 9, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Abortion California Gov. Jerry Brown

Pro-Abortion California Gov. Jerry Brown

On a second pass, criticized by opponents as an end-around, legislators in the California state Assembly today voted 43-34 in favor of “The End of Life Options Bill.” The assisted suicide bill now moves on to the state Senate where, according to media reports, it is expected to pass.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s position remains unclear.

As NRL News Today reported, a nearly identical proposal was defeated in July when “Latino Democrats balk at voting for the measure.”  They were joined by a broad coalition of disability rights, health care, and religious institutions.

Since that time, judges have rejected several lawsuits challenging the state’s law on assisted suicide, raising the stakes in the statehouse.

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced the latest bill as part of a special legislative session on health care financing convened by Gov. Brown, a fellow Democrat.

California Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman

California Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman

Tim Rosales, a spokesperson for Californians Against Assisted Suicide, said, “If assisted suicide were permitted, it immediately becomes the cheapest option for insurance companies, HMOs and also families.” He added, “I think there are a lot of inherent dangers, particularly in a state as diverse as California.”

In a statement, the coalition warned, “That should be truly frightening to those on Medi-Cal and subsidized health care, who quite logically fear a system where prescribing suicide pills could be elevated to a treatment option.”

The measure “is an effort to rush a life or death decision without allowing Californians to offer their opinion to their legislators,” said Kathleen Buckley Domingo of the archdiocesan Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “There was considerable concern on the effect legalizing doctor assisted suicide would have on the poor,” Domingo said. “It’s an effort by wealthy elites in California looking for autonomy. But the poor will suffer the effects of the measure most gravely. Assisted suicide is always the cheapest and easiest option.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who said, “I just can’t believe this will actually provide choices for my community.”

Supporters were able to bypass the Assembly Health Committee, where a virtually identical measure had recently failed, because it was introduced in a special session.

Categories: Assisted Suicide