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Pro-life advocates protested at the district offices of a state legislator who wants to make California the next state to legalize assisted suicide after Oregon voters pushed through a law there.

They said assisted suicide brings the elderly and disabled death instead of compassion.

The protest concerned AB 374, a bill that would allow adults who are diagnosed with less than six months to live to ask a physician for the drugs to kill themselves.

Assemblywoman Patty Berg and Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, both Democrats, are again behind the measure. Last year, a state Senate committee narrowly rejected their assisted suicide bill on a 3-2 vote. Eureka resident Allen Rode was one of the people who attended the protest outside Berg’s local office. He said legalizing assisted suicide would turn physicians into killers instead of healers.

“There are better, more compassionate alternatives to suicide,” he told the Eureka Reporter newspaper. “The medical profession is about healing and the improvement of the quality of life. To assist in (suicide) goes against the whole ethic of the profession.”

“The emphasis should be on pain management care, palliative care … and building a community of support for people,” Rode said.

[22Feb07, #3968, Eureka, CA]