California Residents Protest Assisted Suicide at Lawmaker’s Office

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 20, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Residents Protest Assisted Suicide at Lawmaker’s Office Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 20, 2005

Eureka, CA ( — Opponents of a bill that would make California the second state to legalize assisted suicide protested outside the offices of the state legislator who is the lead sponsor of the measure.

About 35 people gathered at the office of Assemblywoman Patty Berg Wednesday. Seniors, parents and infants stood quietly at the street corner holding signs ranging from "Suicide is Wrong" to "Choose Life."

Allen Rode, one of the participants, told the Record Bee newspaper that, while moral issues are important, he is concerned about the economic ramifications of the bill.

"We feel that if this were to pass and assisted suicide becomes legal, that the poor, the disabled, the senior citizens — those who cannot afford health care will be jeopardized," he said.

Attorney Bill Bertain also participated and he told the newspaper he worried about assisted suicide becoming an accepted part of society should the bill become law.

"The one principle in a civilized society that has to be maintained is that you never intentionally kill innocent human life," Bertain said.

Dr. Judy Burns, a physician with the North Country Clinic, also attended and she said that assisted suicide advocates should instead focus their efforts on promoting hospice care and better pain management.

"I strongly believe that it’s unethical for physicians to be involved in giving drugs in helping people end their lives," she said. "I think some people will come to feel that they should end their lives because they don’t want to be a burden, and that’s not a good reason."

Berg and Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, both Democrats, are the sponsors of Assembly Bill 654, which would legalize the grisly practice.

In April, the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a 5-3 vote with a Democrat joining two Republicans to vote against it.

Under the measure, two doctors much agree that the patient has six months or less to live, that the patient is competent to make the decision, and both physicians must submit reports to the state health department.

The patient must make two oral requests to allowed to kill himself and one written one.

ACTION: Contact Governor Schwarzenegger and urge opposition to assisted suicide. Write him at: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento, CA 95814, (p) 916-445-284, (f) 916-445-4633, (e) [email protected]

Related web sites:
California Pro-Life Council –
Euthanasia.Com –
International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force –