Right-to-die derailed

Bill to legalize lethal medication for terminally ill likely tabled for the year

California's right-to-die bill, which passed the state Senate last month, has been tabled after the authors said it wouldn't pass the Assembly Health Committee.

Senate Bill 128, aka the End of Life Option Act, would legalize the prescription of lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients, but has faced opposition from lawmakers with deep personal beliefs, according to The Los Angeles Times. The authors gained the support of Health Committee Chairman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), but couldn't win over some other members of their party. Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) said he couldn't reconcile SB 128 with beliefs he developed as an emergency medical technician.

“I was there to help protect and preserve life and give folks a second chance,” he said. “It's just something I couldn't come to grips with in this bill.”

Supporters say the bill likely will be taken up again next year.