Patients Rights Action Fund
  • About

    The mission of the Patients' Rights Action Fund (PRAF) is to provide financial and strategic support throughout the U.S. to protect the rights of patients and people with disabilities by opposing doctor prescribed suicide legislation. PRAF is the national coordinated movement to oppose efforts to make suicide a medical treatment and to promote measures that protect patients' civil rights. We connect new and existing grassroots organizations to build coalitions that oppose doctor prescribed suicide on the state level. We track and follow legalization efforts across multiple states, and provide resources to strategic opposition efforts. Read More
  • Contribute

    The movement to legalize doctor prescribed suicide is gaining momentum, but we have had significant victories in the fight to protect patients, people with disabilities and the most vulnerable. Success in these battles is not possible without your support. Please consider making a financial contribution to our cause and staying connected with us by signing up for our email alerts. We can't do it without your help. Read More
  • Join the Effort

    PRAF is only as strong as our network of supporters. Stay connected and help us fight to protect patients' and people with disabilities' civil rights. Please sign up for our email alerts and consider making a financial contribution to our cause. We can't do it without your help. Read More
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Judge's ruling stops right-to-die lawsuit

 San Diego Union Tribune

CA law that prohibits a doctor from assisted suicide is constitutional, judge says

A Superior Court judge’s ruling Friday effectively halts a lawsuit seeking protections for California doctors who want to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

The lawsuit, filed in May on behalf of a San Diego physician and three people suffering from fatal illnesses, focuses on the debate over aid in dying, the term advocates prefer over doctor-assisted suicide.

Read more: Judge's ruling stops right-to-die lawsuit

California assisted death bill appears finished for the year

By Alexei Koseff
The Sacramento Bee

With votes lining up against the measure, California’s controversial assisted death bill was pulled from the Assembly Health Committee schedule Tuesday for the second time in two weeks and appears done for the year.

Senate Bill 128, which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients, passed the Senate last month but has encountered stiff resistance in the lower house amid lobbying from a coalition of medical, religious and disability rights groups. Of the 19 committee members contacted by The Sacramento Bee, just four said they would support the bill in its current form.

Read more: California assisted death bill appears finished for the year

Opinion: Physician-assisted suicide puts the vulnerable at risk

Stephanie Packer, a mom fighting a terminal lung disease, explains why she opposes California's Senate Bill 128

June 24, 2015 7:30PM ET

by Stephanie Packer - Posted by Al Jazeera America

In the past year, lawmakers in two dozen states have put controversial end-of-life bills up for debate. Across the country, there is growing support to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a prescription pill, but only five states now allow medically assisted suicide. In California, a bill that could legalize medically assisted suicide is making its way through the state Legislature. Stephanie Packer, who is battling a terminal lung disease, says she thinks passing it would be a huge mistake.

In 2012, after suffering a series of debilitating lung infections, a doctor diagnosed me with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that causes a hardening of the skin and, in some cases, other organs. Given the progression of my disease, my doctor told me that I had three years to live.

Read more: Opinion: Physician-assisted suicide puts the vulnerable at risk

Disabled rights advocates fight assisted suicide legislation

by Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

June 28, 2015

When he was 19, Anthony Orefice hit a telephone pole on his motorcycle going 100 miles per hour. Doctors told his family he wouldn't survive. He did, but the accident left him paralyzed from the chest down, unable to do what he loved -- surf, snowboard or ride dirt bikes."All you are thinking is the worst, worst, worst – everything you can't do," said Orefice, who lives in Valencia, Calif. "I wanted to be dead."

Read more: Disabled rights advocates fight assisted suicide legislation

Assisted suicide bill fails in Maine Legislature

Despite passage by the House, Senate support falls one vote short.

June 17, 2015
The Associated Press

AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers have defeated a bill that would have allowed doctors to provide lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients.

Republican Sen. Roger Katz’s bill died Tuesday because the Senate and House failed to agree on the bill.

The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly rejected the bill with an 18-17 vote earlier this week. The Democratic-led House supported it with a 76-70 vote.

Katz and other supporters said that people who don’t have much time left to live should be free to end their life when they are ready. But opponents said lawmakers should focus on expanding access to palliative care. They said they feared it would send the message that the state of Maine condones suicide.

Five states currently allow dying patients to end their lives under a doctor’s care.

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