The End of Life Option Act: A 'right to die' for Californians?
When Brittany Maynard, a young woman suffering from an incurable brain tumor, made public her decision to move to Oregon and end her life, the controversy around physician-assisted suicide, or aid in dying, grabbed headlines. And now, after seven failed attempts at legalization, California is again joining the debate with Senate Bill 128, the End of Life Option Act.
It’s hard to think about dying, to really think about this transition from life to death. It can be even harder to watch someone we love die in pain without being able to relieve their suffering, or to watch our families as they see us struggle. Caregivers, doctors, family members, lawmakers, advocates for the disabled and patients themselves have long argued about whether the right to take one's life should be legally available to terminally ill patients. Is it an act of compassion, a breach of the doctor’s oath and duty, an opportunity for abuse?
KPCC’s health care correspondent Stephanie O’Neill and her guests take up these questions and more as we tackle the issues. Be here for the discussion and bring your comments and questions.
Stephanie O'Neill: Health Care Correspondent for KPCC/Southern California Public Radio
Toni Broaddus: California Campaign Director for Compassion & Choices
Alex Capron: University Professor, USC Gould School of Law; Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare Law, Policy and Ethics; Professor of Law and Medicine, Keck School of Medicine; Co-Director, Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics
Dr. Kenneth D. Murray, MD: retired family medical doctor; retired Clinical Assistant Professorship in Family Medicine at the University of Southern California. His article on end-of-life issues, titled "How Doctors Die", went viral on the internet and helped to generate national conversation on issues related to patient wishes and the quality at end of life.
Norma Vescovo: Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Southern California, Inc.
Tell us your story about your experience with end-of-life situations
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