California legislators are again attempting to expand the number of people doctors can legally help commit suicide, all in the name of so-called compassion. The arguments used to legalize assisted suicide in California back in 2016 were solely about providing relief to those with terminal illnesses. With the introduction of SB 1196, authored by Senator Cathrine Blakespear (D-Laguna Hills), these initial limitations only served as a strategic starting point, designed to make the concept of assisted suicide appear less extreme, encouraging societal acceptance of euthanasia as a viable solution to suffering.

Leftist California Democrat legislators have been gradually relaxing the criteria for assisted suicide over the last eight years. When Governor Brown signed California’s assisted suicide law proponents assured the bill’s detractors that the protections within the bill would protect poor, mentally ill, and disabled patients who were terminally ill from being pressured or manipulated into killing themselves. Plus doctors who objected would not be forced to participate.

By 2021, the legislators loosened the safeguards and changed the conscience protections for healthcare providers who refuse to participate in killing their patients. The original “safeguards” marketed to promote the policy were quickly rebranded as “barriers” to access.

Now, proposed legislation in California aims to eliminate the current requirement that individuals must have only six months to live to qualify for assisted suicide, significantly broadening eligibility for this morally abhorrent practice. According to a “fact sheet” released by Senator Catherine Blakespear regarding the proposed bill, SB 1196, “two provisions [the six-months-left-to-live and capacity requirements] are needlessly excluding many Californians from accessing aid-in-dying medicine.”

SB 1196 proposes to redefine “terminal disease” as “a grievous and irremediable medical condition,” characterized by a severe and incurable illness or disease that leads to an irreversible decline in capabilities, causes intolerable physical or psychological suffering that cannot be alleviated in an acceptable way to the individual, and is likely to be the natural cause of death when considering the person’s medical situation. This could encompass a wide array of health issues, ranging from diabetes and the initial stages of cancer to the frailty associated with aging, multiple sclerosis, or paraplegia. It even explicitly extends the End of Life Option Act to those with dementia.

The bill would also allow a patient to opt for assisted suicide even if they opt out of medically verified treatments that could alleviate their symptoms. Essentially, individuals suffering from various conditions would be granted the option for an expedited end, irrespective of the available and potentially effective treatment methods.

Additionally, SB 1196 would allow for the lethal medicine to be administered intravenously to remove the need for a patient to self-administer and remove the requirement that the patient must be a California resident.

Gordon Friesen, the head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, cautioned that if this bill is enacted, California could rival Canada as one of the most permissive countries regarding assisted suicide. He noted Canada’s trend of diminishing its protective measures and broadening the criteria for assisted death. There have been numerous accounts from Canada of individuals being coerced into choosing assisted death due to various circumstances, including the lack of accessible medical care or financial hardship.

“California SB 1196 does not represent a mere expansion of eligibility requirements for a choice-based system of assisted death. It actually signals a full-blown tipping point, where publicly funded medicine in that State will begin its transition to a euthanasia-based utilitarian paradigm of death-medicine — a routine substitution of death for care — as already observed in Canada,” Friesen wrote.

From California Family Council