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California Lawmakers To Introduce Right-To-Die Bill, Family Of Brittany Maynard To Voice Support

SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) -- Lawmakers in Sacramento will introduce right-to-die legislation on Wednesday, which would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients. The debate has been reignited by the recent case of a woman who left the Bay Area for Oregon to end her life.

Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and moved to Portland, Oregon last year. Maynard decided to die, as she put it, with dignity, instead of letting the disease slowly kill her.

Last November, Maynard took a lethal dose of medication to end her life. Oregon is one of five states where it is legal for doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.

"I'm not ashamed to attach my name to what I think is a right that should belong to all terminally ill Americans.  I really do," Maynard said in an interview with CBS News shortly before her death.

The American Medical Association is opposed to the practice, fearing it could be abused in cases involving the elderly and disabled. A high-ranking Vatican official condemned Maynard's decision, a few days after her death.

The bill being introduced Wednesday would be limited to those with less than six months to live, and requires patients to take the deadly medication themselves without help from a doctor.

Maynard's mother and husband will be at the State Capitol Wednesday to voice their support for the legislation.



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