Nuñez to assist new suicide bill

first_imgSACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez said Tuesday that he will join Van Nuys Democrat Lloyd Levine in leading a legislative move this year to establish an Oregon-style, physician-assisted suicide law in California. A Senate committee narrowly rejected a similar bill by Levine and Assemblywoman Patty Berg, D-Santa Rosa, last year. But Levine and Berg said odds of passage have risen now that they have the support of Nuñez, a Los Angeles Democrat. The legislation, modeled after the nine-year-old Oregon Death With Dignity Act, would allow adults diagnosed with less than six months to live to receive life-ending drugs from a doctor and take them by themselves. Levine spokesman Alex Traverso said the lawmaker believes Nuñez’s support could lead to passage. The bill, due to be publicly introduced Thursday, will again face opposition from an influential coalition that includes the Catholic Conference and the California Disability Alliance, opponents said. [email protected] angnewspapers.com (916) 447-9302160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They would have to be determined to be mentally competent, see two doctors, make written and oral requests for the medicine, be counseled about alternatives and wait through a cooling-off time. Only the patient would be able to make the decision, not a family member or a guardian. A spokesman for Nuñez, who leads the Democrat-dominated Assembly, said the speaker thought long and hard about taking on the high-profile role of joint author on the effort. Supporters say the bill would provide the terminally ill with an option to end suffering. But foes say it would devalue life and offends religious or ethical beliefs. Polls have found that a majority of Californians back the concept. last_img

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