SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It was a story that stirred emotions across the world as Brittany Maynard moved from California to Oregon to legally end her life before her terminal brain cancer did it.
Maynard ended her life on Nov. 1, and on Wednesday, her family gathered to at the state Capitol to convince lawmakers to create a right-to-die law in California.
Senate Bill 128 would allow patients to legally take medication to purposefully take their own life with lethal medication.
Maynard’s story grabbed the attention of millions, as the young woman suffering from terminal brain cancer chose to kill herself in Oregon with her family by her side.
“The time to act is now. The bill will live on long after you and I are gone,” said her mother Debbie Ziegler. “Death was not negotiable, but how she died was. Only if she moved out of California.”
The bill would let a person take their own life, but with specific requirements. Two doctors would need to see a patient and verify a terminal illness, also patients must be evaluated for depression or mental health issues. Anyone choosing to end their life would have to administer the drugs by themselves.
Lisa Roberson with Californians Against Assisted Suicide says the state should be focusing on other ways to deal with terminal illness.
“We’re talking about such an incredibly difficult issue. We really should be putting more money toward hospice and palliative care,” she said.
While hospice care is good for some people, Christy O’Donnell says it’s not for everyone. She says her daughter will likely watch her die from a destructive cancer in the next few months.
“I want to be at home in my own bed, with my daughter, holding my hand sounded by family. Because when I pass, I do not want her to watch me in pain,” she said.
Previous assisted suicide legislation efforts have failed in the last decade.