SACRAMENTO � Physician-assisted suicide advocates � unable to pass legislation and short on cash to push a statewide ballot initiative � will announce today the creation of a consultation service to offer information to the terminally ill and even provide volunteers for those who would like someone to be present when committing suicide.
“Volunteers will neither provide nor administer the means for aid in dying,” said the Rev. John Brooke, a United Church of Christ minister from Cotati and one of the organizers of the new End of Life Consultation Service. “Clients will obtain and self-administer these means. We will not break or defy the law.”
But Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, part of an opposition coalition, said it sounded like the formation of “California death squads” to him.
Thomasson, pointing to laws against suicide, called for an investigation by authorities once the consultation service begins.
Representatives of the new End of Life Consultation Service say they will advise the terminally ill on how to better access pain treatment and end-of-life care. Clergy and trained volunteer counselors also will advise the terminally ill against violent suicide, instead helping identify a path to a peaceful death.