Physician-Assisted Suicide Effort Fails

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The bill – dubbed by supporters the “Compassionate Choices Act” failed to make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The measure would have allowed physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients with six months or less to live.  After several hours of emotional testimony from those on both sides, Democratic Senator Joe Dunn – the committee chairman – said he was worried future lawmakers would expand the measure to include more than just the terminally ill…and that money would play a role in that decision:

“I struggled from the get-go on terminally ill and suffering because of the hastening of nature’s process,  but could not resolve that risk, that the power of money would ultimately define the parameters, and so with heavy heart today, I will be a no-vote on the bill.”

One of the bill’s authors, Democratic Assemblywoman Patty Berg says she is devastated – but has not ruled out the possibility of re-introducing the bill next session.