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A "right to die" bill similar to an Oregon law is stalled in the California Senate. It would permit doctors to give lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients (with less than six months left to live, to help them die quickly and painlessly).  Polls show a majority of Californians favor what's called "death with dignity" and, for the first time, doctors have dropped their opposition. But opponents say the sick and dying are too vulnerable to coercion.

Also, the state water board is on the brink of forcing more California growers to shut off their pumps.

Photo: Lee Haywood

Producers:
Sasa Woodruff
Claire Martin

Is California Ready for Assisted Death? 18 MIN, 6 SEC

Over the last decade supporters of right-to-die laws have proposed a series of bills, all of which were emphatically opposed by the powerful, statewide doctors association Now a new bill is stalled in the state Senate, but this time it might have a chance. The California Medical Association dropped its opposition to SB 128 which would allow doctors to provide terminally ill patients drugs that would help them hasten their death. That’s not to say the Association is in favor of this right to die bill.

Guests:
David Aizuss, California Medical Association (@cmaphysicians)
Toni Broaddus, Compassion & Choices (@CompAndChoices)
Marilyn Golden, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (@DREDF )

More:
Compassion & Choices on end-of-life options and planning
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund on assisted suicide laws

Mandatory Water Usage Cuts Loom 7 MIN, 19 SEC

Nearly 40 years ago, a drought stricken California ordered growers with the oldest water rights in the state to stop diverting water from lakes and streams. Now it's deja vu all over again. Last week the State Water Resources Control Board announced they’re preparing to order many growers with rights that pre-date 1914 to turn off their pumps. Bettina Boxall is a staff writer for the LA Times covering water rights and the environment.

Guests:
Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times (@boxall)

More:
State Water Board approves voluntary cutback program for delta riparian water rights

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