An assisted suicide bill which would allow physicians in California to administer lethal drugs to mentally competent, terminally ill patients to accelerate their deaths, passed the first of two state Senate committee panels on Wednesday. The hearing was an emotional one, and legislators heard starkly opposing views.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the bill was cleared by a 5-2 vote in the Senate Health Committee, with both Republicans in opposition, and will not pass to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It’s a deadly mix to combine our broken, profit-driven healthcare system and assisted suicide, which would instantly become the cheapest treatment,” said Marilyn Golden, who is a senior policy analyst for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, according to the Times.
Warren Fong, President of the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Warren Fong, was quoted as saying: “Physician-assisted suicide is the antithesis of being a physician.”
The panel reportedly saw a recorded video testimony from Brittany Maynard, who moved from California to Oregon to died by assisted suicide in 2014 under its Death With Dignity Law.
The three Democratic Senators who introduced Senate Bill 128 include Lois Wolk of Davis, who warned that Gov. Jerry Brown would likely “struggle with this issue.”
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