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Right to Die Legislation Passes State Assembly

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SACRAMENTO --

The controversial bill AB X2-15 made historic strides toward California legalizing medical aid in dying after it passed the state assembly floor Wednesday, 43 to 34.

"I feel that all the arguments were laid out and heard by all sides. We're very happy with the outcome," Toni Broaddus said.

Broaduss is the campaign manager for California's chapter of Compassion and Choices, an advocacy group fighting to make it legal for doctors to prescribe mentally competent terminally ill patients with fatal doses of prescription medication.

"Obviously there are only two days left in session so we think everything's going to happen very quickly over the next 2 days," Broaddus said.

Some argue the bill is moving through the legislative process far too quickly.

"It's a complicated bill with complicated language that doesn't mean what it seems to say," Margaret Dore said.

Dore is both a lawyer and the president of Choice is an Illusion, a human rights organization fighting against AB X2-15, what it refers to as physician assisted suicide.

Dore says as it is written now, doctors are protected more than patients. She argues those physicians who would diagnose terminal illnesses and prescribe lethal doses of medication have blanket immunity.

"So even if a doctor is grossly negligent under this bill, they get a free pass. Is that good public policy?" Dore questioned.

At a press conference Wednesday, Governor Brown remained neutral on the proposed legislation.

"No thoughts that I'm going to share on that bill, or many others I'm reading about in newspapers," Brown said.

"This governor has been very unwilling to comment on his position on this bill so far, we actually believe that means he has an open mind on the issue," Broaddus said.