Speak Out Against Doctor-Assisted Suicide
With doctor-assisted suicide being legal in California for only a few years, proponents say the law is working and now want to eliminate important “safeguards” and reduce the “trial-period” they initially said were needed to help protect Californians from abuse and misuse of the law. The move follows the usual path of physician-assisted suicide laws in other states and nations – promise protections and limits, then gradually strip those away:
Specifically, SB 380 (Eggman, D-Stockton) would roll back the following 2015 “safeguards”:
• Change the current 15-day waiting period for lethal drugs to 48 hours and drop the patient attestation.
• Prematurely ends the existing 2026 sunset date and legislative reevaluation option four years early with little to no scientific data to support this action (especially in light of the worldwide pandemic).
• No future Legislative review or evaluation of annual reports about assisted suicide requests and their outcomes.
Proponents of the physician-assisted suicide (PAS) law touted the fact that California’s law had strong protections when it passed inappropriately during a special legislative session called to look at Medi-Cal funding six years ago. Now, those “safeguards” could be eliminated. In fact, during the first committee oversight hearing to extend the law, proponents even brought up the “need” to let more minorities know of the law's existence, bemoaning the fact that minorities were not using the law. Sadly, Medi-Cal still does not have sufficient palliative care funding to ensure recipients receive adequate end-of-life care and are not subtly encouraged to take their lives.
This law was implemented in 2016 with very specific requirements and with proponents promising sound decision-making and information gathering to provide the science to evaluate the law’s impact. Yet now, after only four years and only three very inconclusive reports by the California Department of Public Health, they say the state should end the current 2025 sunset date and legislative reevaluation option now.
On July 6, SB 380 will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. You voice is important! The California Catholic Conference of Bishops encourages us to contact our California elected representative TODAY and strongly urge a NO vote on SB 380.
On this Independence Day, we are reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
What has happened to the right to life? Why, after so many deaths during the pandemic and rates of depression skyrocketing, do we need to encourage more death now? Speak out against doctor-assisted suicide!
~St. Luke Life, Justice and Peace Ministry