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California Senate Approves End of Life Option Act in a Monumental Step Toward Death with Dignity

This is a press release we issued in connection with the California Senate vote on SB 128. For more information, contact Peg Sandeen at 503.228.4415 or Peter Korchnak at 503.501.2461.

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The Death with Dignity National Center today applauds the California Senate for approving Senate Bill 128 - End of Life Option Act, which will allow terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the right to obtain a prescription medication to end their pain and suffering. The bill passed on a 23-14 vote, and now heads to the State Assembly.

Our political arm, the Death with Dignity Political Fund, has been integral in drafting and promoting the bill, underscored to our Executive Director Peg Sandeen. “We are pleased to see our work culminate in this historic vote, a monumental step toward providing Death with Dignity as as end-of-life option for qualified Californians.”

Read more: California Senate Approves End of Life Option Act in a Monumental Step Toward Death with Dignity

Week 22/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

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Last week (May 26 to May 31, 2015), SB 128 - California End of Life Option Act passed 5-2 in the Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote this Thursday. Delaware now has a proposed bill, with a hearing scheduled for this Wednesday.

A new Gallup poll shows support across the U.S. for Death with Dignity increasing by 10 percentage points, to 68%.

California

California is gearing up to the Senate floor vote on SB 128 - End of Life Option Act.

Read more: Week 22/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Maine's Death with Dignity Bill Clears the Joint Standing Committee for Health and Human Services

This is a report from last Friday's working session at the Maine Joint Standing Committee for Health and Human Services by our long-time supporter and volunteer, Valerie Lovelace.

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Valerie Lovelace is the executive director of the nonprofit It's My Death, which she founded to honor a promise to her sister Dee, dying of cancer, "to teach others how to be with dying, how to speak and listen to one another the way we had learned to speak and listen, and how to go on even when afraid." She is an inter-faith minister, ordained by calling, studying and practicing in the traditions of her elders and teachers, who are Native American, Christian, and Buddhist. She is a hospice volunteer, artist, and the parent of three adult children. She is also a homeopathic practitioner and a Reiki Master, retired from the U.S. Navy, and a trained EMT. She lives in Maine.

The 127th Maine legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services approved LD 1270, An Act Regarding Patient Self-Directed Care at End of Life, on May 22, 2015 by a vote of 7 to 5 in a working session lasting less than one hour. Twelve of the committee’s thirteen members were present for the session.

Read more: Maine's Death with Dignity Bill Clears the Joint Standing Committee for Health and Human Services

Week 21/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week (May 18 to May 25, 2015) was huge in the movement.

The California Medical Association dropped its opposition to physician-assisted dying and is now neutral on SB 128. Also in California, another lawsuit was filed asking for the state to allow physician-assisted dying.

A similar lawsuit was filed in Tennessee, where a bill had been referred to a summer working session.

In Vermont, the Governor signed a bill solidifying the safeguards in the original Death with Dignity bill, Act 39 - A Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life Act.

And in Maine, a joint legislative committee passed the proposed Death with Dignity bill.

California

While SB 128 - End of Life Option Act underwent a fiscal impact study in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the California Medical Association changed its stance on the bill to neutral. Learn more →

Read more: Week 21/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Week 20/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week (May 11 to May 17, 2015), a proposed Death with Dignity bill received a hearing in Maine and the California bill moved forward through the Appropriations Committee.

California

The Senate Appropriations Committee forwarded SB 128 - End of Life Option Act for budget impact assessment, while Californians continue to debate the issue. Meanwhile, just today, the California Medical Association dropped its opposition to physician-assisted dying and is now neutral on the proposed bill.

Read more: Week 20/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

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You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

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