California lawmakers approve right-to-die legislation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- California is one step closer to allowing terminally ill patients to choose how they want to die. Late Friday, the California Senate approved the right-to-die legislation.

The vote in the state senate was 23 in favor and 14 against the measure. It will have to clear one more hurdle, the governor.

Christy O'Donnell hugged one of the state senators who pushed for the right-to-die legislation. It was a victory for O'Donnell who is dying of lung cancer.

"To give people like me and other terminally ill patients in California peace," O'Donell said Friday.

Elizabeth Wallner is another terminally ill patient.

"I am so grateful, not for myself really, but the fact that my son will not have to experience my agonizing death and that be the last thing that he sees," Wallner said.

Brittany Maynard's husband celebrated Friday's vote in the senate. She became the face of the death with dignity battle, choosing to end her life with prescribed medication in Oregon because it's legal there.

"So that terminally ill Californians can stay here in California and have a gentle dying process," said Dan Diaz, Maynard's widower.

Another proponent of the death with dignity act was Jennifer Glass of San Mateo who documented her battle with cancer. She died just a month ago without a chance to end her own life with medication.

Glass was in Sacramento earlier this year. "I would find great comfort in knowing that I had another option," Glass said earlier this year.

Her husband was watching Friday's vote from their home.

"In the end, she did pass peacefully but it would have been so nice if she had passed peacefully seven days earlier without going through seven days of hellish coma," said Harlan Seymour, Jennifer Glass' widower.

Governor Brown has 12 days to sign or veto the bill after he receives it from the legislature. If he takes no action in 12 days, the legislation will automatically become law.

For the latest details on Brittany Maynard's passing and right-to-die legislation, click here.
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