Core to the mission of Independent Living Centers is advocacy! The members of CFILC develop positions regarding issues that impact people with disabilities, and we join our allies in advocating for access and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. To learn about the current issues see below, please contact Henry Contreras, CFILC's Public Policy Director.
CFILC Letter of Opposition Unless Amended: SB 2002 (Monning) - End of Life Options Act May 20th, 2016
Dear Senator Monning:
The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) represents 24 Independent Living Centers statewide that provide programs and services for over 100,000 people with disabilities in California each year. I am writing to inform you that the CFILC Board of Directors has reviewed your Senate Bill 1002 and have voted to take a formal OPPOSE, UNLESS AMENDED on this well-intended bill that is follow-up legislation to the End of Life Option Act (AB x2 15; Chapter 1, Statutes of the 2015-15 2nd Extraordinary Session) that authorized eligible adults with terminal illnesses to make a request for, and self-administer, end-of-life prescription medications.
SB 1002 would require the State Department of Public Health to post a toll-free telephone number on its Internet Website for the purposes of receiving and responding to inquiries in multiple languages regarding the Act. The bill further specifies that the telephone number may be an existing one staffed by the department or an existing one of another state department with consumer assistance telephone lines. Finally, it requires the telephone line to follow prescribed protocols for responding to callers in crisis.
As you are aware, CFILC and other disability rights advocacy organizations strongly opposed your SB 128, as well as its successor legislation, AB X2 15, that enacted the End of Life Options Act. We and our allied partners expressed concerns that the Act could lead many people with disabilities to be subjected to errors, undue pressure, or abuse in making these irreversible decisions to end their lives. Furthermore, we argued that the Act lacked any essential safeguards to prevent such negative outcomes.
Nevertheless, CFILC appreciates the fact that it is your intention to utilize SB 1002 as a vehicle to reduce these potential threats by establishing the informational, neutral telephone line. We support providing accurate and unbiased information about all of the factors and considerations related to an individual’s decision-making in this regard, if they elect to do so.
Turning next to the disability community’s recommendations to further refine SB 1002 to protect consumers, we support and respectfully encourage you to agree to accept additional proposed amendments that disability community advocates have submitted for your review. The proposed amendments would incorporate essential safeguards to ensure that the toll-free telephone line is utilized as an effective public clearinghouse of information about the Act. It is possible that CFILC could move to a neutral or support position if the amendments are adopt.
It is our hope that you will give serious consideration to these amendments, as well as others that may be proposed to ameliorate potential threats. We greatly appreciated your past efforts to reach out to the disability community to take our issues of concern into consideration after you introduced SB 128. While we continue to oppose the End of Life Options Act, we appreciate the fact that you are making a good faith effort to address our some of our public policy concerns.
Thank you in advance for reviewing this letter.
Teresa Favuzzi, MSW
cc: Ana Acton, Chairperson, CFILC Board of Directors
Louis Frick, Chair, CFILC Public Policy Committee
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