New Volunteer Program Focused on Assisted Suicide
A new statewide program will advise terminally ill patients on how to access pain treatment and end-of-life care, including life-ending prescription drugs, MediaNews/San Jose Mercury News reports (Geissinger, MediaNews/San Jose Mercury News, 9/17).
Organizers for the End-of-Life Consultation program have scheduled news conferences on Tuesday at churches in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco to promote the service.
Volunteers in the program, including clergy, will neither provide nor administer life-ending medication, but they will monitor patients as they use the drugs (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 9/18).
The volunteers also will advise patients against violent suicide and recommend alternative options to end their lives.
Polls indicate that a majority of California residents support legalizing physician-assisted suicide, but legislative efforts have failed multiple attempts.
AB 374 would allow California adults diagnosed with less than three months to live to obtain life-ending prescription drugs in certain circumstances (MediaNews/San Jose Mercury News, 9/17).
The California Medical Association opposes the bill, as do disability groups and the Roman Catholic Church (Sacramento Bee, 9/18).