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Assisted-suicide legislation at critical stage

September 11, 2015
Valerie Schmalz

The California Assembly was scheduled to vote this week on new physician-assisted-suicide legislation that was brought back during a special session called to address health care costs. If the bill is passed by the Assembly, it would have to be acted upon by the state Senate by Sept. 11 when the special session concludes.

The California Catholic Conference is asking people to contact their lawmakers to oppose the legislation, ABx2-15.

A similar bill failed to pass the Assembly during the regular session but had been approved by the Senate. If passed by both houses, it would then go to Gov. Jerry Brown.

“Assisted suicide represents misguided public policy, which would have numerous detrimental implications for vulnerable people and impact our society negatively,” the California Catholic Conference notes.

Eleven million Californians are dependent on Medi-Cal, more than double Oregon’s 4 million total population, creating a great temptation to encourage assisted suicide to save taxpayer dollars. “Record keeping and reporting in Oregon is so inadequate that we do not know how many patients in that state may have been coerced or misled into taking a legal dose of drugs,” the conference said.

The bill is modeled on Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide legislation, which has inadequate safeguards to protect the patient, the California Catholic Conference said. “Our commitment should be to provide excellent health care to all Californians, not abandon those facing a terminal illness.”

As Catholic San Francisco went to press, the bill’s fate was undecided. Check the Catholic San Francisco and California Catholic Conference Facebook pages for updates or go to California Catholic Conference’s website, cacatholic.org.

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