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California Legislators Push for Right-To-Die Bill

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SACRAMENTO-

In a room filled with emotion, legislators announced plans to pursue Senate Bill 128, a law that would give terminally ill Californians the right to end their own life.

"This bill would be a last resort," Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, told FOX40.

The announcement comes after the death of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard put assisted suicide in the spotlight in November. The terminally ill Bay Area native chose to end her own life.

To do it legally with a prescription from a doctor, she had to move to Oregon, one of five states where assisted suicide is legal.

"My daughter was visibly relieved when she found out she qualified for the meds. She took great comfort in knowing she would decide how much pain she was going to endure," Brittany 's mother,​ Debbie Ziegler, said in a press conference Wednesday.

Ana Acton, with the Center for Independent Living knows all about pain and challenges, both things she has lived with for a long time.

"There's a lot of people with disabilities, who may be terminally ill, if given an option like this may have taken their own life before realizing you could live a full life with a disability," Acton said.

California Medical Association spokesperson Molly Weedn would not comment on the bill but told FOX40, "Longstanding CMA policy [...] is in opposition to physician assisted suicide because it is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as a healer."

Legislators say the law is very clear, a person has to be capable of making their own decision, within six months of their death and seen by at least 2 doctors.

"A person who is old or disabled cannot be apart of this law, unless they are suffering an incurable disease and are at the end of life" Wolk told FOX40.

Maynard would have qualified had this law been in effect.

If the law is passed, it would go in to affect Jan. 1 of 2016. Legislators say no doctor would be forced to prescribe medication that would end someone's life.