Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..
In 2015, disability rights groups feared that Brittany Maynard's crusade to legalize assisted suicide in California would finally secure legislation permitting physicians to provide lethal medication to terminally-ill patients who want to control the time of their death.
In life and death, Brittany Maynard has been the poster girl for Compassion & Choices, the nation's leading voice for assisted suicide. For the past year, Maynard has appeared in widely-circulated YouTube videos, and a People magazine story featured her husband's disturbing memories of their final day together.
But the Sacramento Bee just reported that the authors of Senate Bill 128 had issued a statement confirming that they "would not present it before the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday. It was the second time in two weeks that a vote was canceled, and potentially a last chance for the measure, which also had to pass the Assembly Judiciary Committee before a July 17 deadline."
Democrat Freddie Rodriguez of Pomona, one of the assemblymen who opposed the measure, explained why he could not support it:
“You’ve got to look at what I’ve done before the Legislature ... working to help save and protect peoples’ lives, giving that option – a second chance at life,” Rodriguez, who worked as an emergency medical technician, said Monday. “Letting folks have that option to end their life, it’s just something I can’t come to grips with.”
The California Catholic Conference, which strongly opposed the measure, cheered the bill's defeat, and expressed gratitude for "the hard work done by the assembled coalition at Californians Against Assisted Suicide, which includes physicians and advocates for the disabled who were "key to the success of the campaign and we are proud to have played a role in that long-standing coalition."