Assisted Suicide Bill Fails in California

SB 128 – CA Assisted Suicide Authors Will Not Pursue Bill Further in 2015

Tim Rosales.  Californians Against Assisted Suicide.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — 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:

“What was seemingly inevitable just a month ago has seen increasing opposition due to a broad, bipartisan coalition that has worked tirelessly to inform California legislators about our policy concerns with assisted suicide.

“Those of us advocating on behalf of disability rights organizations understand that choice is a myth in the context of our health care reality. End-of-life treatment options are already limited for millions of people—constrained by poverty, disability discrimination, and other obstacles. Adding this so-called ‘choice’ into our dysfunctional healthcare system will push people into cheaper lethal options. There is no assurance everyone will be able to choose treatment over suicide; no material assistance for families of limited means who are struggling to care for loved ones; no meaningful protection from abusive family members or caregivers.”

Coalition coordinator Tim Rosales followed, “Throughout the country we have seen assisted suicide proposals begin with very high approval ratings only to go down to defeat. In 2012, the Massachusetts Ballot Question 2 voter initiative began with nearly 70% approval in many public opinion polls only to go down to defeat 51% to 49%. Already this year we have seen assisted suicide legislation fail in Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware and Nevada. The more people learn about the issue, the more public opinion turns against it.”

Background: Assisted suicide has only been passed in 3 states – Oregon (voter initiative), Washington (voter initiative) and Vermont (legislation). In 2015, assisted suicide legislation was defeated in states including Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado, Maine, Delaware and Nevada. Similar legislation is currently stalled in New York and New Jersey. 

In the State Senate, SB 128 passed by a floor vote of 23-15. Democrat Senator Tony Mendoza voted in opposition with Sen. Ben Hueso (D) abstaining and Sen. Richard Pan (D) abstaining in both the Senate Health Committee and floor votes. All Republicans voted no. The bill has now been pulled from the Assembly Health Committee a second time due to broad opposition.

See more news at Turnout California.

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Los Angeles: Archbishop Gomez, assisted suicide bill is empty compassion

For Archbishop Gomez, assisted suicide bill is empty compassion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

.- People suffering from terminal illness deserve true compassion and care – not violence, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said as the California legislature’s assisted suicide bill advances.

“It is a failure of public leadership and moral imagination to respond to human suffering by making it easier for people to kill themselves,” he said in his June 9 column for The Tidings.

Assisted suicide offers a “hollow” compassion, Archbishop Gomez said.

“Helping someone to die – even if that person asks for that help – is still killing. And killing is not compassion, it is killing,” he said. “It is responding to the needs of our neighbors with indifference, with the cold comfort of death.”

He called for California to become “a vanguard of true compassion for the dying.”

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Life Doesn’t End In Coma for Man With Neisseria Meningitis

Witherspoon

BIOETHICS.  January 14, 2014.  By Harold Cassidy.

“Teach Your Children:  Assisted Suicide and My Family.”

No one wants pain. But the debate about assisted suicide is not just about those who are terminally ill and in pain. It is about all of us. By voting for assisted suicide, we are implicated in an intrinsically immoral act.

Excerpt:

While in the coma, Rich’s heart had to endure six weeks of fever that reached 107 degrees—six weeks during which he had to be packed in ice. For six months, the physicians continually repeated that Rich’s death was imminent. On one occasion, when I visited the comatose Rich, his face had necrosed. It was entirely black. For six months, Rich Fritzky did not move, did not breath, did not swallow, and did not speak.

But Rich came out of his coma. He awoke to find that both of his legs had been amputated, as well as all ten of his fingers. His hospitalization lasted fifteen months and included a vigorous and painful rehabilitation, a failed effort to fit prosthesis, continual bouts with infections, and difficult-to-manage bed sores. Although the illness left his body broken and scarred, his mind and wits were as keen as ever, and he loved his family more than ever before.

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