California Pro-Life Group Continues Opposing Bill That Promoting Euthanasia

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 6, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Pro-Life Group Continues Opposing Bill That Promotes Euthanasia

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 6
, 2008

Sacramento, CA ( — A leading California pro-life group is continuing to urge pro-life advocates to contact their state legislators to oppose a bill that would promote euthanasia. The California Pro-Life Council is opposed to AB 2747, a measure sponsored by the lawmaker who has repeatedly tried to legalize assisted suicide.

"Patty Berg’s bill AB 2747 encourages medically vulnerable individuals to kill themselves through voluntary dehydration," the pro-life group says in a new legislative alert.

Though lawmakers make some minor changes to the legislation to alleviate the concerns of pro-life groups, neither CPLC nor the National Right to Life Committee have dropped their concerns and opposition.

"We urge all those concerned about the very real risks posed to the medically and emotionally vulnerable to continue opposing this bill," the group told

The bill would codify palliative sedation and voluntary stopping of eating and drinking as legitimate means of pain control and allow doctors and nurses to suggest death by unconscious dehydration.

Brian Johnston called the changes made to the legislation in June “bell and whistle amendments” that looked good but did not remove the significant concerns pro-life advocates have with the bill.

Johnston told the changes “in no way changed the substantive effect” of the bill in terms of it promoting euthanasia.

“Unfortunately, these ‘attention getting amendments’ distracted some and convinced them to drop opposition to the bill,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the concern remains that medical professionals will continue to be able to “sell” patients euthanasia under the measure.

The confusion about whether the changes really improved the bill led members of the committee to support it and send the harmful legislation to the California Senate floor. The measure has already been approved by the State Assembly and CPLC hopes to defeat the bill in the Senate.

While proponents of the legislation talk about the bill allowing medical professionals to discuss the legal rights of patients with them, one of the rights that would potentially be promoted is the so-called right to be dehydrated and starved to death.

The pro-life advocate said a California appeals court ruling also plays a role.

“The Bouvia Decision in 1986 is a little known, but important California appellate ruling won by the ACLU that legitimizes in California physician co-operation and involvement in the dehydration death of even non-terminal patients,” he said.

“The known goal of the Patty Berg bill, AB 2747, has been to proselytize medically vulnerable patients with this information, thus promoting the idea of ‘assisted suicide’ among those who may not otherwise think this way,” he added.

Johnston concluded, “AB 2747 has been recognized by many as a truly bad bill; both because it mandates what medical professionals actually say to patients and when they say it (at their most vulnerable time), and because it bodes ill for these medically and emotionally vulnerable patients.”

The pro-life group is offering packets of postcards for purchase that state residents can use to contact their legislators and they are available on the CPLC web site.

ACTION: Contact members of the California Senate by going to and urge strong opposition to the bill.

Related web sites:
California Pro-Life Council –


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