By Katie Wingo
Since Brittany Maynard’s story broke last October, 16 California newspapers have written 26 editorials endorsing medical aid-in-dying legislation or, more specifically, California’s own End of Life Option Act (SB 128). The major newspapers that have endorsed SB 128 include the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, and Hoy a leading Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles.
Given the millions of online and offline readers of these 16 newspapers, the 26 editorials undoubtedly played a key role in the state Senate’s passage of SB 128 on June 4, and they should continue to influence legislators as the bill moves through the Assembly. The editorial headlines alone are strongly supportive:
“End of Life Option Act should be law of the land,” (Daily Democrat, Jan. 23, 2015)
“California needs a right-to-die law,” (Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2015)
“Brittany Maynard proved need for California Death with Dignity law,” (San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 17, 2014)
“Give the dying the right to pick how and when to die,” (The Sacramento Bee, Oct. 25, 2014)
The editorials are equally unambiguous in their support:
“We strongly urge the [Assembly Health] committee to approve the bill and send it on to the Assembly.” (Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2015)
“Legislators ought to approve the bill, so caring spouses such as Bill Bentinck don’t have to fear jail, and sick people like Brittany Maynard need not leave their homes and travel to Oregon to end their pain.” (The Fresno Bee, Jan. 21, 2015)
“We hope that common sense prevails so our legislators grant this option to people with terminal illnesses.” (Hoy, June 19, 2015)
“Californians overwhelmingly support this concept. Oregon voters approved it in a ballot measure 21 years ago, and zero problems have surfaced; it is seldom used, but it offers peace of mind to many.” (San Jose Mercury News, June 1, 2015)
We’re excited to see such far-reaching support. We are optimistic that the Assembly will continue pushing the End of Life Option Act forward, particularly in light of Compassion & Choices new, bipartisan poll showing that Californians from every demographic group, including a majority of Catholics and Latinos, support the bill.
To read more editorial headlines and excerpts, click here.
To read the summary of the new, bipartisan poll on SB 128, click here.