SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - The California Assembly voted for the first time on Wednesday to allow physician-assisted suicide of terminally ill patients, sending the bill to the state Senate where supporters are hoping to meet a Friday deadline for final passage.
The lower house of the legislature, meeting in special session in Sacramento, approved the End of Life Option Act on a vote tallied by supporters at 43 to 34. The Senate adopted a similar bill in June, but it foundered amid opposition from the Roman Catholic Church. Assisted suicide is legal in four other states - Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Beech)