California Assisted Suicide Law Is Denounced By Leading Disability Rights Policy Center

June 6, 2016
Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
(510) 549-9339


Announces national web resource for reporting abuses and other problems

Berkeley, CA – June 7, 2016 – The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, a leading national disability rights law and policy center based in Berkeley, California, denounces the enactment of California’s End of Life Option Act, which goes into effect on June 9.
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Op-Ed: Assisted suicide would be fraught with problems and abuses

By Stephen Mendelsohn | March 6, 2015

The Public Health Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly has twice rejected doctor-prescribed suicide legislation after hearing testimony about the dangers it posed to seniors and people with disabilities. Some 140 attempts to legalize assisted suicide in other states have also been rejected.

Led by a vocal disability community, opposition to assisted suicide cannot be reduced to soundbites. Death is far too important for six-word slogans like “My

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California Disability Organizations That Oppose the Legalization of Assisted Suicide

(including national organizations based in California)

Access to Independence – San Diego
ADAPT, Northern California
ADAPT, Southern California
Berkeley Commission on Disability
California Alliance for Inclusive Communities (CAIC)
California Chapter of TASH (CalTASH)
California Disability Alliance (CDA)
Californians for Disability Rights (CDR)
California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) – San Mateo County

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So-called Safeguards and Minimal Oversight: The Assisted Suicide Law in Oregon

1. So-Called Safeguards

> Doctor Shopping

Doctor shopping can circumvent any of the Oregon law’s supposed protections.

Take the case of Oregon patient Kate Cheney, who was 85. Her doctor refused to prescribe lethal drugs, because he thought the request actually resulted from pressure by her adult daughter who felt burdened with care giving. So the family found another doctor, and Ms. Cheney soon used the lethal prescription, and died.[1] We call this “doctor shopping.”

It’s become common knowledge in Oregon that

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Assisted suicide attacked from an unlikely front

Disability rights groups, typically supportive of individual liberty, have helped defeat bills out of fear that HMOs would see a chance to cut care.

See the original article at the Los Angeles Times

August 06, 2007 | James Ricci | Times Staff Writer

Five times in the last dozen years, bills on medically assisted suicide have risen in the California Assembly, and five times they have failed.

In every instance, a great deal of the credit for their demise goes to a constituency associated with advancing personal choice and civil rights — namely, the disability rights movement.

The latest attempt, Assembly Bill 374, which its backers called the

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Facilitating Assisted Suicide is Not the Way To Go

See the original article at the Capitol Weekly.

By Marilyn Golden | 05/22/08 12:00 AM PST

From the title of Assemblymember Patty Berg’s piece (Capitol Weekly, May 15, “A little honest talk isn’t going to hurt anyone — really”), you would think the article would reflect some truth in advertising.  Unfortunately, readers had no such luck.

The real “honest talk” about AB 2747 is that it has very little to do with improving care. For this bill, the devil is really in the details. Close

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Assisted Suicide and Disability

Another Perspective

By Diane Coleman

“I don’t want to live like this one more day,” she said firmly. “I’ve had enough.” She had been forced, at 26, to leave her masters program. Her car had been repossessed. Following a miscarriage, her marriage had broken up. Her brother had drowned. And now her mother had been diagnosed with cancer.

One night, she turned up in a hospital, moaning that she just wanted to die. She was a competent adult, and her reasons for living were gone, so the

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Assisted Suicide Bill Puts Pressure on Patients to Die Sooner

Posted on Thu, Mar. 01, 2007, San Jose Mercury News
By Marilyn Golden

For the third time in as many years, a bill to legalize assisted suicide has been introduced in the California Legislature.

At first glance, it seems like a merciful policy. But a closer look uncovers many reasons legalization would be a dangerous mistake. For this reason, it is opposed by a broad coalition that includes many disability rights organizations, the American Medical Association and other medical groups, the American

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Why Assisted Suicide Must Not Be Legalized

Marilyn Golden
Policy Analyst


In 1999, faced with a bill in the California legislature to legalize assisted suicide, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) joined ten other nationally prominent disability organizations in adopting a position against the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia.[1]

The 1999 California bill went down to defeat, due in part to an opposition coalition spanning the political spectrum from left to right. That coalition represented disability rights

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