California mulls assisted suicide hotline

A California bill that would create a toll-free telephone line for people seeking more information about the state’s controversial assisted suicide law is being considered by the state’s senate.

The bill, that would require the California Department of Public Health to establish and operate the phone line, passed the State Senate Health Committee Wednesday, and will move to the Senate Appropriations Committee, KPCC reported.

The End of Life Option Act, which goes into effect June 9, allows terminally ill patients to ask their physicians to give them life-ending drugs, if they have six months or less to live and meet other conditions.

Marilyn Golden, senior analyst with the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, told the outlet that the bill sends a “mixed message” that would be "contrary to the state's goal of preventing unnecessary loss of life."

However, Sen. Bill Monning, who introduced the bill, said the phone line was “not a line to persuade people to end their lives, but to provide patients with answers.”

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