California's Right-to-Die Bill Put on Hold

Brooke Carlucci
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Posted: Jul 07, 2015 7:00 PM
California's Right-to-Die Bill Put on Hold

Passionate Catholic lawmakers In Los Angeles put a halt on the right-to-die bill this past Tuesday that allows ill patients to legally end their lives.

The bill did not go through specifically because the 19-member Assembly Health Committee did not have enough votes to support the right-to-die bill.

Specific Catholic lawmakers advocated for this and got what they wanted in enacting this holdout.

This right-to-die legislation has been shot down not only in California, but also in Colorado, Maine, New Jersey and elsewhere.

However, it is not merely a religious aspect that is holding back lawmakers from passing the bill. It is also health implications.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, was among the lawmakers still making up his mind, but he said Monday that he was more torn over the lack of patient safeguards in the measure than pressure from Catholic constituents. "It's not a religious thing for me. It's how this is going to be implemented in the real world," Gomez said.

A specific case that stirred the motivation behind this bill was 29-year old Brittany Maynard who moved from California to Oregon to legally end her life after battling terminal brain cancer.

Oregon, a clear supporter of the right-to-die bill has officially ended the lives of 750 individuals, their reasoning for passing this law in 1994 being "to avoid burdening their families."

Other states including Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have also passed this law to legally end lives.

In attempts to keep God at the forefront of medical decisions, religious groups hold true that medically ending someone's life is assisted suicide that goes against God's will.

And so, as it seems that religion and legislation butt heads once again, the right-to-die bill will for now not be making a clearance for Californian's to legally die.

"The more people know and understand and learn about assisted suicide and really get into the policy of the debate, the more they begin to have questions and concerns," said Tim Rosales, a spokesman for Californians Against Assisted Suicide, a coalition of disability rights advocates, oncologist associations and religious groups.