Last month, as a concerned citizen I walked into my assemblyman’s office and asked to speak with someone. Did I, prior to that week, have *any* clue who my assemblyman was? No. No I did not. (Spoiler: It was Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, District 54) So if you don’t know who yours is, you’ll get zero judgement from me.
But it turns out these assembly members, men and women from all over the state of California, will very soon have the power to decide something that will change the face of dying. It’s called the End of Life Option Act.
As a mortician, I’ve heard story after story of suffering. The young man who found his father hanging in his apartment after the pain of end stage cancer became too much. The woman who asked, “Is it ok to be sort of glad my mother is dead, she just suffered so badly, it was impossible to watch.” I’ve seen members of my own family have what can only be called, kindly, the bad death.
The End of Life Option Act would allow terminally ill Californians to request medication to peacefully end their lives and free them from suffering. It’s been called Physician Assisted Suicide, but I’ve long since stopped using that term. These people don’t want to die. They would live long and happy lives if they could. But disease is taking their life from them, day by excruciatingly painful day.
70% of Californians want this, no small majority. We know this type of law works, we have data from Oregon (the first state to allow this 18 years ago). There are safeguards in place. It is ready to go. It has already passed the California Senate! We are so. close.
There are people right now, terminally ill, who cannot wait for this legislative process to drag on. Cancer cannot wait, and California cannot wait.
Here is what you can do if you live in California (or KNOW anyone who lives in California- tell them!).
Type in your address here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
In just 10 seconds it will tell you who your State Assembly Member is.
Tweet at your assemblyperson. Facebook them! Take a photo of yourself with the hashtag #CAWontWait and make sure they see it.
Write them a letter, telling them why the End of Life Option Act is necessary and vital. Tell your own story.
Here are two easy to access letter links from Compassion & Choices:
STEP 3 (Master Level)
March your butt into your assemblyperson’s office and ask to see someone.
It worked for me. Tell them, “I’m a constituent, and I’d like to be heard on the End of Life Option Act.”
Let’s do this together.
The finance committee hearing is about to begin and we need your support now more than ever! Please make calls and encourage people you know who are close enough to the district to drop in. The following are key votes needed to pass the assembly floor vote, which is likely to happen on Tuesday, September 8th.