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A Right to Die Lawsuit in California Gets Turned Down
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right to die

Summary: Californians may be seeing the discussion of assisted suicide come from their state politicians as the courts do not want to be the one’s addressing the issue.

A lawsuit filed on the behalf of Christy Lynne Donorovich-O’Donnell and Elizabeth Wallner was turned down by a San Diego judge during a hearing to determine if their lawsuit should go to trial. The judge indicated that he would throw out a lawsuit filed by a doctor and three patients stating that California Law authorizes the medical practice of assisted suicide.


O’Donnell is battling brain, liver, lung, rib, and spine cancer. She is a civil rights attorney and a former LAPD sergeant that now lives in Santa Clarita with her daughter. She has stated that she spends most of her time worrying about the pain she will endure as she dies.

Wallner has stage IV colon cancer that has metastasized to her lungs and liver. She lives in Sacramento. She stated outside the court room that she was disappointed but anxious to see the issue continue to be addressed.

Judge Gregory Pollack of the San Diego Superior Court remarked that an issue that requires changing the state’s constitution should be made by legislation not by the court. He expects his decision to be appealed. Los Angeles County District Attorney Darin Wessel seconded the judge’s remarks about this being an issue for legislation to address.

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A bill has been created that addresses the issue but it has been held up by the Assembly Health Committee because of the opposition of religious organizations. The “Right to Die” movement is starting to gain momentum after the Oregon story of Brittany Maynard.




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