SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — The right-to-die movement in California has a setback Tuesday after lawmakers dropped their efforts to allow terminally ill patients the right to legally end their lives because of fierce opposition.
Christy O’Donnell of Valencia, a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, has been a strong advocate of SB 128, even testifying before the state Legislature.
“I dreamed of the possibility of even possibly being alive when it went to our governor,” said the 46-year-old mother diagnosed with cancer last year.
But with not enough support to advance the bill, lawmakers pulled it Tuesday, ending their efforts for the year.
“My heart is burdened with the fact that even one person who has to suffer in dying. That should never, ever happen,” she said.
O’Donnell is a former LAPD sergeant and trial attorney. She says she refuses to uproot her daughter and move to Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal and where San Francisco cancer patient Brittany Maynard chose to end her life.
The opposition group “No on SB 128” released a statement Tuesday explaining why they don’t want the bill to pass.
In the statement, the group said: “There is no assurance everyone will be able to choose treatment over suicide … no meaningful protection from abusive family members or caregivers.”
O’Donnell doesn’t know how much longer she has to live, but says she’ll continue to fight to die at home with dignity.
“I’m bedridden. I’m in diapers. And my family has to sit next to me and sit vigil, just waiting for me to die. That’s not a quality of life that I want,” she said.
The bill’s sponsors say they vow to continue their fight in the state Legislature.
In the meantime, O’Donnell has also filed suit, asking the California courts to allow her to end her life with medication.