Celebrating Women’s History Month — California Assemblywoman Eggman Fights for End-of-Life Options for all Californians

By Alyson Lynch, Communications Coordinator, Compassion & Choices
March 26, 2018

Alyson Lynch, C&C Communications Coordinator

Women in state legislatures across the country are leading the fight for end-of-life options for terminally ill adults. They author bills, testify at hearings, serve on committees and introduce aid-in-dying legislation year after year despite persistent opposition. One such powerhouse legislator is Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman. Eggman was a combat medic in the U.S. Army before training as a social worker and spending time working in hospice care. Eggman is also the first Latina elected to Stockton City Council, a role she held before assuming office in the California State Assembly in 2012.

In 2015, Eggman was instrumental in passing the California End of Life Option Act. She is the author of the act, which grants terminally ill Californians with six months or less to live the ability to request a prescription to end their suffering. At one hearing, she told her fellow assembly members, “We are all going to die. As we look back at that trail, at the footsteps we have left on that path, some people, members, want to be in control when that footstep makes that last mark.”

Assemblywoman Eggman didn’t stop when the law was passed; she is now taking steps to ensure that it is accessible. In January 2018, Assemblywoman Eggman chaired the first Select Committee on End of Life Health Care meeting that reviewed the progress of the End of Life Option Act. At the meeting, healthcare providers, community stakeholders, people who participated in the law and their families all gave testimony to aspects of the law that work well and things that could be improved upon. Their testimony proved the law is working as Assemblywoman Eggman and other lawmakers intended it to: helping terminally ill people and their families have peaceful end-of-life experiences. Assemblywoman Eggman is a champion in the end-of-life choice movement not only for introducing and helping to pass the California End of Life Option Act, but seeing that it is helpful and available to all Californians.   

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