Lawmakers Hear Impact Stories One Year after Right to Die Law Took Effect

SACRAMENTO -- Jackie Minor came to the state capital Wednesday morning to talk about someone very close to her -- her father.  He was suffering from an incurable lung disease and made a difficult decision.

"We utilized medical aid in dying option on September 15, 2016," Minor said.

Minor says her father was in bad shape and wanted relief from the constant pain.

"After he took the medication I just remember we did the right thing. We did the right thing," Minor explained.

In 2016,  it became legal in California for terminally ill patients to end their own lives with the help of a physician.

For the first time since the 'Right to Die' law took effect, lawmakers got together to discuss how it`s been going so far.

"The big things I see that are issues right now are access, finding someone that will prescribe, can prescribe. And then the second is that venue -- who are those people," explained Dr. Catherine Forest of Stanford University.

Minor says actually finding a doctor who would help end her father's life was one of her biggest obstacles.

"I was researching moving our family to Oregon temporarily but it's not that simple. I just began cold-calling hospitals and medical providers," Minor said.

The reason - many say - is a lack of education in medical school about physician-assisted suicide and many doctors simply don't want to prescribe the controversial drugs.

"Medical aid in dying is authorized in seven states right now and we predict that it'll be authorized in ten or more in the next ten years," said Kat West, director at Compassion and Choices.

The hope for people like Minor is that this conversation doesn't end here - at the state capital.

"I already see a lot of networking among the professionals in there which is really promising. There is certainly a lot of work left to be done in this area," Minor said.