I was in France when word came through that AB 651 had failed in the California Senate Judiciary Committee. Splendid news. I was so pleased that Senator Joseph Dunn, the Democratic committee chair, came down on the side of true compassion and patient care by voting no to assisted suicide. When I testified at the informational hearing, it seemed to me that he was genuinely struggling with the issue, which gave me great hope. And sure enough, the more he learned, the less he seemed to support the bill. Good for him.
Praise for this important victory goes to the wonderful political strange-bedfellow coalition that joined to oppose the bill, made up of disability rights activists, medical and hospice professionals, pro lifers, advocates for the poor, Catholics, civil rights activists, and others.
Unfortunately, the defeat was not a proverbial stake through the heart of assisted suicide in California. I fully expect the bill to be back again soon. Assisted suicide advocates believe deeply in their cause and are funded by deep pockets. But if they do, the coalition will regroup and hopefully prevail again.
Until then: Onward.