California Senate Committee Advances Right-To-Die Legislation

On Wednesday, the California Senate Health Committee voted along party lines to approve a right-to-die bill (SB 128) that would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to patients with terminal illnesses, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Cadelago, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/25).

The measure now heads to the state Senate Judiciary Committee (McGreevy, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 3/25).

Details of Bill

The End of Life Options Act, by state Sens. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and William Monning (D-Carmel), would give patients with terminal illnesses the right to seek life-ending medication from their doctor.

Specifically, the bill would require that:

  • The medication is self-administered;
  • The patient is mentally competent;
  • Two physicians confirm the prognosis that the patient has six months or less to live;
  • The patient's physician discusses alternatives and additional treatment options;
  • The patient submits a written request and two oral requests made at least 15 days apart; and
  • Two witnesses attest to the request.

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