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Group Wants To Kill California’s Right-To-Die Law

Photo caption: A handful of unidentified pills are shown, March 3, 2011.

Photo credit: frankieleon\flickr

A handful of unidentified pills are shown, March 3, 2011.

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A group that calls itself Seniors Against Suicide wants to put a measure on the ballot to repeal California's new right-to-die law.

One day after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the right-to-die bill into law, a group calling itself Seniors Against Suicide filed papers to place a referendum to repeal the law on next year's ballot.

The latest Field Poll reveals that effort won't be easy.

The poll of 1,002 registered voters shows 65 percent support the idea of doctor-assisted death. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and even Catholics favor it. In fact, the only sub-group in the poll to oppose the concept were Born-Again Christians.

Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the backers of a measure to repeal the law will have an uphill battle.

"Initiative campaigns have been successful in overcoming those kinds of deficits in the past, but it's pretty formidable," he said. "They'd have to overcome about a 40-point advantage."

Opponents would have to surmount a major obstacle just to get the measure on the ballot: they'd have 90 days to collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters.

The right-to-die law would allow a doctor, upon request, to give a lethal dose of drugs to a terminally ill patient. It's patterned after the nation's first right-to-die law in Oregon, which passed in 1997.

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