ASSISTED SUICIDE: Editorial Blasts Aroner’s Bill
In the first step in what an editorial in today's San Diego Union-Tribune calls a "slippery slope," the California Assembly Judiciary Committee this week narrowly approved a bill that would legalize assisted suicide. Assemblywoman Dion Aroner's (D-Berkeley) Death with Dignity Act, modeled on Oregon's measure, is expected to fare better than a similar 1992 ballot measure that failed in part because it allowed doctors to administer the lethal dose. If Aroner's bill prevails, the editorial says, "it is not hard to imagine a time when not only a few terminally ill patients are sent to their premature deaths, but also patients who may not have given their unequivocal consent or are pressured to give their consent." Lawmakers should look toward the Netherlands, the piece urges, pointing to a "widely publicized" report in which physicians "admitted to killing more than 1,000 patients each year who didn't ask to die." Aroner's bill is opposed by the California Medical Association, an indication, the editorial concludes, that "California voters were correct seven years ago when they recognized that the potential for abuse is simply too great to legalize euthanasia" (4/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.