; charset=UTF-8" /> Bloom in the Desert Ministries UCC endorses Medical Aid-in-Dying Legislation SB 128 End of Life Option Act : Connecting Voices
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Bloom in the Desert Ministries UCC endorses Medical Aid-in-Dying Legislation SB 128 End of Life Option Act

End of LifeBloom in the Desert Ministries United Church of Christ, Palm Springs, became the first church in California to support the End of Life Option Act, Senate Bill 128, when its leadership board and Social Action and Missions Team endorsed the legislative process, Compassion & Choices reported today.

“We want to ensure quality end-of-life care for people who are suffering from an incurable and irreversible terminal illness,” said the Rev. Kevin A. Johnson. “Yet, when a person only has months, weeks, or even days to live; when there is nothing else that medicine can treat, and it becomes impossible to provide relief from extreme pain, we want to allow a person the option to end his or her pain and suffering when the time comes.”

The bill, which is sponsored by State Senators Lois Wolk and Bill Monning, would allow mentally competent, terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication that they could take to die peacefully if their end-of-life suffering becomes unbearable. The bill is modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.

Safeguards like those included in SB 128 are designed to protect terminally ill people and ensure that the law works as intended. Compassion & Choices staff report there has not been a single reported incident of abuse in the five states where medical aid in dying is available, including in Oregon, where the law has been in place for nearly two decades.

Over the past 17 years in Oregon, doctors have written 1,173 prescriptions. Of these, 752 patients have used the medication to shorten their dying process while 421 chose not to use it.

“Dying people get comfort and peace from knowing that medical aid in dying is an option should their pain and suffering become too great,” said Penny Sipes, Social Actions and Missions Team Leader. “We are proud to encourage the Compassion & Choices teams to support California’s SB 128.” Rev. Johnson said, “We are surprised to be the first and only church in California endorsing SB128.  For the sake of human dignity, I hope others come onboard soon.”

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. More information is available at: www.compassionandchoices.org

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