Hotline to Help Terminally Ill End Lives Launched

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

77-year old Tom McDonald has terminal cancer.  When his doctor told him he’d die from blood filling his lungs, his first reaction was to have his gun ready.  But after talking with the organization Compassion and Choices, he says he knows he has other options for ending his life:

“Actually, It’s just wonderful.  I’m not alone.”

The group – along with some religious leaders – wants to offer those services to terminally ill patients statewide.  They’ve launched a new free hotline to give what they call “end-of-life” consultations.  Volunteers will not buy or administer life-ending drugs.   Supporters say it’s not suicide, therefore their assistance is not illegal.  But opponents disagree.  In a statement, Tim Rosales with “Californians Against Assisted Suicide” said the program opens the door to questions about coercion and liability