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SB 128 Passes Committee, But List of Disability Rights Groups Opposing Grows

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As Expected, Assisted Suicide Bill Passes Committee

But list of bill opponents grows - Silicon Valley Independent Living Center and Communities United in Defense of Olmstead say no to Assisted Suicide

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the controversial Senate Bill 128 (Monning, Wolk), the bill to legalize assisted suicide in California. Opposition testimony was delivered by Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Tom Driscoll - a Stockton-based attorney who specializes in elder abuse and family law and a representative from the Association of Northern California Oncologists and Medical Oncology Association of Southern California.

While the bill passed its second committee, the list of those opposing assisted suicide continues to grow with the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center and Communities United in Defense of Olmstead joining disability rights organizations like The Arc CA, United Cerebral Palsy, Autism Self-Advocacy Network, California Foundation of Independent Living Centers and others opposing SB 128. 

In her testimony Marilyn Golden gave an example for why the very basic premise of a six-month "terminal" diagnosis makes SB 128 bad public policy. She testified that her colleague, "was diagnosed with ALS at age 18 and given 3-5 years to live. Six years later, the progression of his disease suddenly stopped and he is alive at age 77, with a wife, children, and retired from a successful career. He told me that if assisted suicide had been legal at the time, he would have used it, but is so happy to be alive."

Similar pieces of legislation have failed or been tabled this year in states like Connecticut, Colorado and Maryland.