A California legislative committee approved a bill today that would legalize assisted suicide with virtually no limits. The measure received approval from the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee on a 10-2 vote with one lawmaker absent.
The bill next next goes to the assembly finance committee.
Disability rights groups strongly oppose the bill.
“The practice is opposed by many doctors, who feel they should preserve life rather than help to end it, the Catholic Church and many conservative religious groups. Disability rights activists fear disabled people will be pushed to end their lives by insurance companies or relatives who do not want to care for them,” Reuters reports.
The measure has strong opposition from pro-life groups.
“The Public Health and Developmental Services Committee was comprised specifically for the Extraordinary session and replaces the original Assembly Health Committee that thwarted Senate Bill (SB) 128 earlier this summer. Numerous Democrats on that initial committee indicated they would not support the “death with dignity” bill and assured its demise” says Lori Arnold of the California Family Council. “Not content with the loss, determined lawmakers made an end run by using a narrow legislative tactic to reintroduce the measure during the special session on healthcare financing.”
“Governor Brown has indicated his displeasure with the new bill’s introduction, saying the Extraordinary Session is not the proper place or process to try to implement the controversial measure,” she said. “While pro-family advocates often have their differences with the governor, in this case we wholeheartedly agree.”
The following groups currently oppose the bill: Californians Against Assisted Suicide, the American Medical Association, American College of Pediatricians, American Nursing Association, California Family Alliance, California Catholic Conference, California Disability Alliance, Berkeley Commission on Disability, and Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
As Wesley Smith explains, “the new version of the assisted suicide legalization bill gives an open license to death doctors by preventing the possibility of meaningful oversight or transparency.”
The State Department of Public Health shall collect and review the information submitted pursuant to Section 443.9.
Sounds reasonable. But get this!
The information collected shall be confidential and shall be collected in a manner that protects the privacy of the patient, the patient’s family, and any medical provider or pharmacist involved with the patient under the provisions of this part. The information shall not be disclosed, discoverable, or compelled to be produced in any civil, criminal, administrative, or other proceeding.
In other words, nothing could be done with the “information” collected. And it couldn’t be used in a prosecution of a doctor, who say, assisted the suicide of a person who was coerced or not terminally ill.