The following comes from a Dec. 5 story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
State Sen. Bill Monning intends to introduce legislation that would allow terminally ill Californians to end their lives with medical assistance.
Monning, D-Carmel, announced his plan for a bill modeled on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act on Friday during an annual legislative meeting with Watsonville officials.
“This is a core human dignity, human rights question,” he said. “This will be controversial, but it’s important to have the conversation.”
Monning said he and Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, still are working on the legislation, but that it would authorize mentally competent people with terminal diagnoses and fewer than six months to live to legally end their lives.
His action also is intended to focus attention on advance medical directives, palliative care and hospice, Monning said.
Better known as assisted suicide, advocates prefer the term “aid in dying” to describe the practice of a terminally ill patient choosing to end their life using a lethal dose of a prescribed drug.
Since the Oregon law went into effect in 1997, 1,173 people have requested prescriptions, and 752 ingested the drugs to end their lives. A majority suffered from cancer and were 65 or older….
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