With just one week to go in the legislative session, a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in California was approved by the Assembly's finance committee and will move to the Assembly floor next.
The committee approved the bill with a new amendment: a sunset clause. If the bill is signed into law, it will remain in effect only until Jan. 1, 2026, unless another law extends or ends that date.
Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, a co-author of the bill, said a sunset clause can be used in "landmark legislation as one way to address concerns of people who may have hesitations."
"We think it's an effective tool to assuage concerns of some members and build confidence," Monning said. "If some of their concerns about patient protections are valid, there's a way to revisit the whole issue."
Under the End of Life Option Act, physicians could prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it. The patients must be mentally competent and able to swallow the drugs themselves.