Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Life and Death with Dignity for All:

Hi All you Green Dogs. Here is a very important Valentine's message for you all. It speaks to our hearts and our progressive political beliefs, family values, and human dignity.

It's the California Compassionate Choice Act, AB 651, now in the Assembly, also known as Death with Dignity. This Act, introduced by Assembly members Patty Berg of Sonoma and Lloyd Levine of Southern California, will allow terminally ill patients the means to make end of life choices. It is similar to the law passed in Oregon in 1997 and recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The entire Bill can be read at http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/Bills/AB_651
California stands poised to become a leader in the movement to allow freedom for all people to have control over their life and their death. This Bill provides safeguards for those with disabilities or elderly people to prevent any abuses. Only those diagnosed with six months or less to live, having requested a lethal prescription orally and in writing from their physician, found to be mentally competent and capable of taking the final measure themselves, qualify.

My Life, My Death, My Choice:

This Bill is about choices in medical decisions free of governmental interference. That is why leading physicians, nurses, clergy and other caring professionals have endorsed it. Organizations such as NOW, ACLU, Senior and Hospice groups are listed as supporters.

Major newspapers, such as the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, San Jose Mercury and Sacramento Bee have editorialized for the measure.

Both Democratic candidates for Governor are in support. They all know that when it comes to end of life decisions, just as when it comes to a woman's right to choose, only a patient and his/her doctor are in the position to determine what is best.

This bill will end needless end of life suffering for countless Californians, while respecting the rights of those who wish to prolong life. It is Your Life, Your Death, Your Choice.

Your Help:

Although right now, things look good for passage out of the Assembly, there is a long way to go and we expect a backlash from the Right. That's why this campaign is so urgent for us all to support with our time, energy and dollars. The lead organization, Compassion and Choices, is a non-profit out of Portland Oregon, helping people with end of life decisions, and advocating for legislative changes all over the country.

They are focused now in California, putting their staff and Board energy into getting this Bill passed. That means raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few months to pay for outreach materials, educational and lobbying drives and positive advertising to promote the legislation.

You can read about the organization and the campaign at www.compassionandchoices.org.

If any of you want to help in any way, let me know at coastlaw@earthlink.net. I will be calling some of you to discuss this in more detail soon.

And please, pass this on to your lists and write or call your Assembly member to ask for their support. Thanks!