Monday, March 18, 2024

California bill would legalize Medical Killing

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director,
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2016 California legalized assisted suicide and expanded the law in 2021. 
California is now debating further expansions and a change in the law to permit 'Canadian-style' medical killing.

On March 8, 2024 I published an article concerning California Senate Bill 1196, a bill that would:

  1. Allow euthanasia by IV (intravenous), as in Canada. Currently, California permits assisted suicide (lethal poison that a person takes orally at the time and place of their own choosing, with or without witnesses). This bill allows for death by IV. This constitutes euthanasia/homicide.
  2. Change the criteria from terminally ill (6 month prognosis) to the Canadian model: “a grievous and irremediable medical condition.” Thus, there would be no time limit  and no terminal illness requirement.
  3. Allow people with early to mid-stage dementia to consent to assisted suicide or euthanasia, even though they have a condition that impairs their capacity to consent.
  4. Remove the California residency requirement. California would join Oregon and Vermont, dropping their residency requirements and allowing for suicide tourism.
  5. Remove the 48 hour waiting period between first and second request by the patient - same day death. 
  6. Remove the 2031 sunset clause in the California assisted suicide law.

Maggie Hroncich wrote an article that was published in the New York Sun on March 18, 2024 explaining the proposed changes to California's End of Life Options Act. Hroncich writes:

Dubbed by critics as the ‘most extreme’ expansion effort in America, the bill’s backers say it would give patients greater medical autonomy.

As efforts to expand physician-assisted death ramp up across the country, California lawmakers will consider a measure to expand access to the procedures for dementia patients, add new ways drugs can be taken, and open access to out-of-state residents. 

Senate Bill 1196, introduced by a state senator, Catherine Blakespear, would expand California’s End of Life Options Act to include patients with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” to request doctor-assisted death in addition to patients with a terminal disease. 

Senate Bill 1196 uses similar language to Canada's euthanasia law:
In Canada, a shocking four percent of the country’s deaths were from assisted suicide — leading to it being the fifth-leading cause of death there, as the Sun has reported. Recently, reports have emerged that a father is asking a Canadian court to stop his 27-year-old daughter’s assisted suicide, whom he says has autism and doesn’t meet the criteria for assisted death.

The California bill would set new conditions that would require a patient to be in a state of “irreversible decline in capability” and experiencing “physical or psychological suffering” that is “intolerable to the individual and cannot be relieved in a manner the individual deems acceptable.” Additionally, it must be “reasonably foreseeable” that the condition would become the patient’s natural cause of death. 

The legislation, if enacted, would also expand assisted-death to allow patients with “early-to mid-stage dementia,” allow IV infusions of the drugs rather than the current requirement that it must be taken orally or through a digestive tract, remove the 2031 sunset date, and remove the state’s residency requirement. 

Hroncich states:

One vocal critic of the bill is the Executive Director of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg, who is warning California lawmakers not to “follow Canada’s lead.” 

“Changing the criteria from a terminal illness (6 months prognosis) to having a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition’ will lead to people with disabilities ‘qualifying’ for death by lethal poison for reasons of poverty, homelessness, an inability to obtain necessary services or difficulty with obtaining medical treatment as has happened in Canada,” he notes. 

The bill could lead to “homicide tourism,” he adds, and the IV infusion allowance would mean doctors are actively carrying out the death rather than assisting a patient in self-administering the fatal drugs. “Euthanasia is sold to the public as allowing competent adults who are capable of consenting to die by lethal poison,” according to Mr. Schadenberg. “Allowing euthanasia for people with dementia permits medical practitioners to kill someone who is not competent and unable to consent.”

Hroncich was careful in writing this article but clearly Senate Bill 1196 will not only expand the assisted suicide law, but it will also legalize euthanasia, otherwise known as homicide. This is not an expansion of the law. This would be the legalization of euthanasia.

1 comment:

iexhort said...

As a Californian I am really alarmed that they’re making this attempt to expand what they originally legalised through a dodgy back door move. People really seem to be asleep or blindly following the lead of a political party that has decided to get rid of boundaries; boundaries that used to guarantee our safety out in public and boundaries that are built into the medical mantra “Do no harm” are being ignored or destroyed by politicians in California. Governor Newsom is obsessed with making a name for himself by positioning California as first state to…fill in the blank. I consider this a spiritual battle first and foremost because people are being convinced that evil is good and good is evil. God, please open people’s eyes and hearts to the truth.

Thanks for all you do, Alex.