The following comes from an August 20 Angelus article by J.D. Long-García:

California state legislators introduced a measure that would legalize physician-assisted suicide during a special legislative session this week.

The measure, AB 15, would allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to individuals suffering from a terminal illness. Opponents of the measure called it a modified version of SB 128, which did not pass during the legislative session.

“This effort to bring back the measure during a special session will short circuit the conversation,” said Kathleen Buckley Domingo of the archdiocesan Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “It is an effort to rush a life or death decision without allowing Californians to offer their opinion to their legislators.

Because it was introduced in a special session, the proposed bill could bypass the Assembly Health Committee, where an identical measure failed just last month. A broad coalition, including disability rights groups, patient advocates, nurses and physicians opposed SB 128.

“There was considerable concern on the effect legalizing doctor assisted suicide would have on the poor,” Domingo said. “It’s an effort by wealthy elites in California looking for autonomy. But the poor will suffer the effects of the measure most gravely. Assisted suicide is always the cheapest and easiest option.”

Andrew Rivas, director of government and community relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said that while the measure had been modified, there hasn’t been substantial change.
“I see no concessions here,” he said, referring to problems raised by the coalition that opposed physician-assisted suicide earlier this year.

The special session is focusing on Medi-Cal funding and Rivas said the introduction of physician-assisted suicide came as a surprise.

“This is a heavy-handed attempt to force through a bill that could not get any traction at all in committee,” according to a statement from Californians Against Assisted Suicide.
“It’s one thing to run roughshod over the normal committee and legislative process to jam through a district bill, but to do that on what is literally a life-and-death issue is clearly abusive, and should concern all Californians.”

The new push comes just days after a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled against legalized physician-assisted suicide in California. In his decision last week, Judge Ernest Goldsmith voiced concern that legalized physician-assisted suicide would target patients who are financial burdened by medical bills.