Suicide Advocates' Bill Signed by Governor Schwarzenegger

CA Governor Signs AB 2747

Read CCG Letter
Opposing AB 2747

SAN FRANCISCO, September 30, 2008 -- Despite a very strong opposition, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2747, the bill sponsored by the former Hemlock Society.

The bill is dangerous because it interferes with the doctor patient relationship and adds confusion about end-of-life care. More specifically, AB 2747:

  1. Opens the door for medical directors of healthcare facilities to refer patients to agencies that specialize in end-of-life consultation that would include advocates of assisted suicide and euthanasia like Compassion and Choices and the Final Exit Network. This would create a conflict of interest for facilities trying to save costs due to capitated reimbursement.
  2. Requires doctors to provide end-of-life information if asked when a terminal diagnosis or misdiagnosis is made. By not leaving the type and timing of information to the doctor's discretion, doctors will be compelled to provide a wide range of information to assure compliance with the law that could be traumatic and unnecessary for patients. When people learn of a terminal diagnosis, they generally want to hear about curative treatments, not end-of-life options that may be inappropriate or irrelevant to them. Medically, a terminal diagnosis is made when it is likely that a patient will succumb to a terminal illness. The patient could live productively for years after the diagnosis is made, even with disabilities associated with some terminal illnesses.
  3. Includes removal of artificial hydration and nutrition as a refusal of life-sustaining treatment option. Refusal of life-sustaining treatments is usually intended to let the disease run its course while withdrawal of hydration and nutrition is intended to cause death.

AB 2747 is opposed by a broad coalition including the California Conference, Catholics for the Common Good, numerous statewide disability rights organizations, California LULAC and the La Raza Roundtable de California. Read CCG letter of opposition to AB 2747.

FURTHER READING

Killing the Pain, Not the Patient: Palliative Care vs. Assisted Suicide USCCB website

RELATED CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHINGS

Questions about Medically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration US Bishops
Responses to Certain Questions Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration Vatican
Teaching on Euthanasia and Suicide (Excerpt from Gospel of Life) John Paul II
Living the Gospel of Life US Bishops
Declaration on Euthanasia Vatican



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