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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is a California State Senator representing the 35th District in Orange County. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Cypress. He can be reached through his Senate website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

California's Assisted Suicide Bill
More bad progressive legislation...
[John Campbell] 3/28/05

The news last week and this week has been consumed with the Terry Schiavo case taking place in Florida. The California legislature will soon be grappling with a similar issue as the year continues. Assemblyman Levine (D-Van Nuys) & Assemblywoman Berg (D-Eureka) have introduced a bill (AB 654) which would allow physician-assisted suicide in California for someone who is terminally ill and is diagnosed to have less than 6 months to live. This law would mirror a voter-approved initiative in 1997 which basically placed doctors in the business of killing their patients.

I oppose this legislation. In my opinion, we should draw a very stark line between "pulling the plug" on someone who could not live without machines or drugs, and actively punishing a hardened criminal through lethal injection. If a person's desire is that they wish to not have their life sustained through artificial means and if that desire is clearly articulated by them or by clear proxy, so be it. But to actively kill someone whose life is self-sustaining is another matter completely.

The only case in which society allows us to kill someone now (other than in self defense or in times of war) is through the death penalty. As one can see from the low number of executions here in California, there are extensive and multiple judicial reviews before a death penalty can be carried out. (In fact, Scott Peterson may outlive us all.) I wonder, will executions under an "assisted suicide" law undergo the same scrutiny? Who's to say that the terminal diagnosis is correct? That a new cure is not developed? That the mental state of the decision-maker is sound? That the person's condition has not been trumped up by a greedy heir or someone else who stands to benefit from the death? Furthermore, is it wise to have a societal culture that assists and hastens death?

Take a look at a conflicting proposal: Since its construction in the 1937, about 1,300 people have committed suicide by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is now a proposal to raise the toll on the bridge in order to raise $25 million to install a fence along the entire length of the bridge to keep people from jumping off. The irony is that while we are considering "assisting" suicide with a bill, Democrats want to spend millions of dollars to prevent it on a bridge. If we were to be intellectually consistent with the culture of assisted suicide, they should instead be installing diving boards along the Golden Gate Bridge to "assist" those who have determined that they wish to end their lives. "Assisted suicide" is functionally the same. And I don't think we should support it.

...and the Tax of the week

Last week, I mentioned the proposed toilet paper tax in Florida. Well, California Democrats never want to be out taxed by Democrats in other states. So, we have a number of new tax proposals in the legislature this year. One of them is a $7 proposed tax on bicycles (AB 1103 introduced by Assemblymember Karnette, D-Long Beach). The justification for this new tax is to provide recycling centers for bikes so that they don't wind up in landfills. Uh-huh. Lots and lots of constituents tell me every day that one of the great problems of this state is seeing all of those bikes stacked up in trash cans and in landfills everywhere. Not. The author says this is really not a "tax,” it is a "fee.” If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck..........well, you know the rest. CRO



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