Thursday, April 18, 2024

Good news: California assisted suicide expansion bill is dead.

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I have great news. The California assisted suicide expansion bill (SB 1196) has been pulled. 

This is great news, but let's be clear, the language of SB 1196 is the goal of the assisted suicide lobby but the bill was determined to have gone too far too fast.

Based on the summary of SB 1196 by Senator Blakespear I stated that the bill would have:

  1. Allowed 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 allowed for death by IV. This constitutes euthanasia/homicide.
  2. Changed 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. Allowed 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. Removed the California residency requirement. California would join Oregon and Vermont, dropping their residency requirements and allowing for suicide tourism.
  5. Removed the 2031 sunset clause in the California assisted suicide law.

I published an article on March 18, 2024, stating that the California bill would legalize medical killing. After the language of SB 1196 was released I further explained how SB 1196 would have expanded medical killing in California.

SB 1196 would have changed the law from requiring ingesting of the lethal poison to utilizing the lethal poison. Utilize was not defined in the bill but it could be defined as: "to make practical and effective use of."

SB 1196 would have changed the law from requiring a terminal disease to a grievous and irremediable medical condition.

Terminal disease was based on a 6 month prognosis whereas grievous and irremediable medical condition had a long definition that essentially mean't that the person has a serious chronic condition that will continue to decline.

The bill stated:  

For purposes of this part, a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” includes a diagnosis of early to mid-stage dementia while the individual still has the capacity to make medical decisions

IV catheter
How would early to mid-state dementia have been defined in practise?

SB 1196 permitted non-doctors to participate in the law. SB 1196 added the following: nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses.

SB 1196 removed the residency requirement in the California law by striking out the words - is a resident of California.

SB 1196 allowed the use of an IV (intravenous) catheter to "utilize" the poison. SB 1196 stated:  

death through ingestion, or through an intravenous pathway after a health care provider places an intravenous catheter if one was not already placed, to bring about the qualified individual’s own death

This statement did not limit the use of the IV catheter to assisted suicide and may have allowed for euthanasia/homicide.

Later SB 1196, stated:  

For purposes of this section, “assisting the qualified individual by preparing the aid-in-dying drug” includes a health care provider placing an intravenous catheter, so long as the health care provider does not assist the qualified individual in introducing the aid-in-dying drug into the qualified individual’s vein.

This statement inferred that the person must somehow utilize the IV catheter. The IV could be placed but the health care provider could not "assist". This was intentionally confusing. There may also have been circumstances, such as ALS, where the person has difficulty "utilizing" the IV catheter without assistance.

On June 22, 2022, a California federal judge rejected a case designed to permit euthanasia within California's assisted suicide act. Shavelson, a doctor that solely focuses on assisting suicide and Sandra Morris, who had ALS, argued that the state's assisted suicide law discriminated against people who had difficulty self-ingesting the lethal drugs and to remedy the situation the state needed to permit euthanasia in those cases.

In that case, Shavelson argued that allowing the administration of lethal drugs by IV catheter when a person has difficulty self-administering the lethal drugs was necessary. Justice Chhabria rejected the argument and stated:

Chhabria ruled the case could not proceed on the theory that it violates the ADA because the accommodation they seek would cross the boundary created by the End of Life Option Act, “from the ability to end your own life to the ability to have someone else end it for you.”
Chhabria further ruled:
“Such an accommodation would ‘compromise' the essential nature of the act, and would therefore fundamentally alter the program.’”

The judge said the law’s self-administration requirement is the “final safeguard” to ensure the act remains voluntary.

“A person seeking to end their life pursuant to the act can opt out at any point — after requesting or receiving the prescription, after the drugs are in their hand, after the feeding tube has been installed, after saying goodbye,” he wrote. “The accommodation that the plaintiffs seek would significantly undermine these protections by opening a window during which there would be no way of knowing whether the patient had changed their mind.”

If SB 1196 would have changed the California law by removing self-administer, removing the terminal illness requirement and allowing the utilization of an IV catheter, these changes would make it impossible to distinguish between an act of assisted suicide and an act of euthanasia/homicide. 

Assisted suicide is receiving lethal poison and self-administer it for the purpose of causing death.

Euthanasia is when another person, usually a medical professional, administers the lethal poison for the purpose of causing death. Euthanasia is a form of homicide/murder.

Since SB 1196 did not require a "third/independent party" to witness the act, therefore SB 1196 would have enable euthanasia under the guise of assisted suicide and achieve for the euthanasia lobby what was denied to them by Justice Chhabria in 2022.

SB 1196 was a "Trojan horse" euthanasia bill.

SB 1196 is the end goal of the assisted suicide lobby.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Schadenberg.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all that worked so hard to overturn this bill and safeguard people from being exterminated in their difficult lives PTL!

Ryan Arnott said...

This is indeed great news! Heart-warming to know that lives will have been saved because of the rejection of this expansion bill.

Vi said...

Praise & Glory to GOD Almighty in Heaven!

Anonymous said...

Thank God. God blessed your efforts.