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Week 15/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week, a Death with Dignity bill, SB 128 - End of Life Option Act, passed in the California Senate Judiciary Committee. A proposed bill was heard in a Rhode Island House Committee. North Carolina saw a bill introduced for the first time.

Bills in Connecticut, Nevada, and Tennessee legislatures died in committee: after Committee hearings the Connecticut bill failed to come up for a vote for the third time in as many years; the Nevada bill will not receive a hearing; and the Tennessee bill was tabled for interim study.

These are the highlights of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from April 5 to April 11, 2015, with the corresponding media coverage.

California

The End of Life Option Act cleared another hurdle in the Senate when it passed in the Judiciary Committee by a partisan vote of 5 to 2. The bill is next headed to the Appropriations Committee in May.

Read more: Week 15/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

California Senate Judiciary Committee Passes SB 128 - End of Life Option Act

The California Senate Judiciary Committee on April 7 approved Senate Bill 128 - California End of Life Option Act by a 5 to 2 vote.

With the vote, California took another step towards providing Death with Dignity as an end of life option to its 39 million citizens.

We applaud Senators Lois Wolk, Bill Monning, and others for sponsoring legislation whose time has come. We were pleased to play an integral role in the drafting and deliberations of the bill, and honored to speak before the Committee on the Oregon experience and our exemplary implementation of the law.

The End of Life Option Act will next be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee, with a hearing to take place in May. In the meantime, we will continue to work with the bill sponsors to promote the bill's passage.

Read more: California Senate Judiciary Committee Passes SB 128 - End of Life Option Act

Week 14/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week, Maryland legislators decided to not vote on proposed Death with Dignity bills, effectively delaying them until the 2016 session. California enjoyed the success of the proposed End of Life Option Act in the Senate Health Committee and geared up to this week's Judiciary Committee hearing. Montana rejected a proposed ban on physician-assisted dying. And ten years passed since the Terri Schiavo case brought assisted dying into the national spotlight (read more in TIME Magazine).

These are the highlights of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from March 29 to April 4, 2015, with the corresponding media coverage.

California

The Death with Dignity debate continued apace in California following the bill's passage in a Senate Committee.

Read more: Week 14/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Week 13/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

Last week the Death with Dignity movement registered an important success in California, where the Senate Health Committee approved the proposed Senate Bill 128 - End of Life Option Act by 6 votes to 2, with 1 abstention. The bill now moves to the Judiciary Committee, with a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 7. Bills also moved through the Maryland and Minnesota legislatures. We learned that Tennessee will see a proposed bill this week as well, bringing the number of jurisdictions considering Death with Dignity this session to 25 (including District of Columbia).

These are the highlights of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from March 22 to March 28, 2015, with the corresponding media coverage.

California

The Senate Health Committee approved SB 128 with a 7 to 2 vote.

Read more: Week 13/2015 in the Death with Dignity Movement

California Senate Health Committee Approves SB 128 - End of Life Option Act

Image: California Senate Health Committee hearing on SB 128

"Some years ago, my precious brother Jeff died a death I would not wish on anyone. Yesterday my spirits were lifted.

At the Senate Health Committee Hearing on SB 128 - California End of Life Option Act, I was privileged to witness the powerful testimony of families who, like my own, had to stand like giants in a moment after they were just ordinary people. Those brave people who provided testimony in support of SB 128 spoke for their loved ones. And they stood for us all.

It was a landmark day in California as the Senate Health Committee approved SB 128. This is one of several hurdles the bill faces, but California is poised to catch up to Oregon in this push for greater choice in how we meet end of life challenges."

This first-hand account from the California Senate Health Committee Hearing on SB 128 - California End of Life Option Act comes from our supporter Kate P., a Sacramento, California, resident.

Read more: California Senate Health Committee Approves SB 128 - End of Life Option Act

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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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