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End of Life Option Act Introduced in California

January 22, 2015

Representatives from Death with Dignity National Center attended the announcement of the End-of-Life Option Act at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

Sponsored by Senators Wolk and Monning, Senate Bill 128 provides peace of mind and control for the terminally ill while safeguarding against coercion for those who are vulnerable. We are pleased to have worked with Senators Wolk and Monning to draft the proposed California legislation, the End of Life Option Act, and we will deliver our political and strategic experts who have worked successfully to pass legislation in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont to assist the California efforts.

George Eighmey, National Center Vice President, said: “We are proud to be here today to support Senators Wolk and Monning as well as the people of California, in proposing a Death with Dignity law to provide a peaceful and dignified death for those suffering from terminal illnesses. The time is right for California to adopt this law.”

The Golden State has always been a leader in progressive policy reforms protecting individual rights. Thanks to this leadership, our movement traces its earliest roots to California, as the Death with Dignity National Center was founded here in 1993. We were proud to join these efforts yesterday.

Watch the full press conference below:

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Afterword: Physician-Assisted Dying Concepts

Dying with Dignity Option Now Available to 1 in 6 Americans

Though Oregon’s law went into effect in 1997, relatively few people have made use of it in the past 18 years, reflecting Oregon’s smaller population. Only with California’s End of Life Option Act in 2016 did a larger proportion of the country gain access to this right. In fact, California increased access from around 10 million to 50 million, or almost 1 in 6 Americans. Data from Death with Dignity California will contribute greatly to our understanding of the aid in dying movement in the coming years.