California bill could require doctors to give patients options to refuse life-sustaining treatment

.- A pending bill in the California state legislature could force Catholic doctors and others opposed to assisted suicide to inform terminally ill patients of several facts, including that they have the “right of refusal or withdrawal from life-sustaining treatment.”

The bill’s official title is the “California Right to Know End-of-Life Act of 2008,” though the Sacramento Bee has characterized it as “right-to-die legislation.”

Assembly Bill 2747 is an amended version of a euthanasia bill previously proposed By Assemblywoman Patty Berg, a Democrat from Eureka, the California Catholic Daily reports.

Opponents called the first version a “stealth assisted-suicide bill.” It would have allowed doctors to administer “palliative sedation” to induce a coma and to starve patients to death under a provision called “voluntary stopping of eating and drinking.”

The original bill also required terminally ill patients to be referred to the group “Compassion & Choices,” a euthanasia advocacy organization formerly called the Hemlock Society.

Though Catholic ethics allow the refusal or withdrawal of medical treatment in some situations, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) says the amended version of the bill is “still unnecessary and possibly dangerous,” calling the new version “less egregious” than its predecessor.

Republican State Sen. Sam Aanestad told the Sacramento Bee that some doctors who treat cancer patients oppose the bill because they believe it interferes with medical care at a time when patients need compassion.

“What they don't need is another governmental intrusion into the relationship between themselves and their doctor,” he said.

Aanestad also argued that requiring doctors to recite “a laundry list developed by Sacramento politicians” years before any refusal of treatment is necessary could encourage depressed patients to make rash decisions to hasten their deaths.

Democratic Sen. Sheila Kuehl told the Sacramento Bee that patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses have the right to have their questions answered.

“Right now, all too often, your questions are brushed aside,” she said.

The bill was approved by the state Senate on August 20 by a vote of 21 to 17. The assembly was expected to approve the bill and send it to the governor this week.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: