Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Advocates Press for Improvements to CA's Aid-in-Dying Rules


Monday, July 5, 2021   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A bill to speed up the process for terminally ill patients to access aid-in-dying medications will be heard tomorrow in the State Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 380 would shorten the waiting period between the two oral requests for the prescription that the patient must make from 15 days down to two.

Samantha Trad, senior campaign director for the nonprofit Compassion and Choices Action Network in California, said a lot of patients don't ask for it until it's too late.

"15 days may not sound very long, but when you're imminently dying, it's an excruciatingly long time," Trad contended. "And we know from Kaiser and other health-care systems that about 30% of terminally ill Californians who want the option of medical aid-in-dying die during the mandatory 15-day waiting period."

The bill is opposed by the Catholic Church and by some disability-rights groups. To be approved for the prescription, a patient has to have a terminal diagnosis with six months or less to live, from two different doctors. The person also must be of sound mind and be able to ingest the medication on their own.

The bill also would require hospitals and hospices to post their aid-in-dying policies on their website.

Amanda Villegas' husband Chris Davis died of cancer in 2019 before he could access the prescription, because his caregivers gave him wrong information.

"They blatantly lied," Villegas asserted. "They told us it was completely illegal in Southern California, that we would have to go up to a Kaiser in northern California in order to access a prescription. In Chris' state, that wasn't possible."

The current End of Life Option Act, which took effect in 2016, will sunset in 2025. The new measure would make the law permanent.

A study released last week by the California Department of Public Health found so far, almost 3,000 patients have obtained the prescription and about two-thirds of them used the medicine.

Usage remains low among people of color; 87% of people who utilized the law are white.

Disclosure: Compassion and Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021