A hard-fought measure to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California cleared the state Assembly on Wednesday despite opposition from religious groups and advocates for the disabled, and moved to the state Senate, where it was widely expected to gain final passage. The measure, patterned after an Oregon law allowing terminally ill patients to obtain medication prescribed to end their lives, passed 43-34 after weeks of hearings and impassioned debate.
“Imagine that it’s one of your constituents, suffering in agonizing pain – their pain medication no longer works,” said Assembly member Luis Alejo, a Democrat from Watsonville who supported the bill. “Then imagine that it’s your father or your mother or your grandparents or your daughter.” Under the bill, which was pulled for lack of support in July but reintroduced last month as part of a special legislative session to deal with healthcare issues, two doctors would have to determine that a patient had no more than six months to live before the medication could be prescribed. FULL REPORT