Local doctor fights for right to die in California

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SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego doctor is joining a group of terminally ill patients from California in the fight to make the “right to die” legal in the state.

“I have seen a lot of patients who, despite all of our best efforts, suffer during the end of their lives,” said Dr. Lynette Cederquist.

Cederquist and the three other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit Friday in San Diego against the state.

It asserts that California’s current laws should allow for terminally ill adults who are mentally competent to request for the right to die through prescription medication.

“I would be there with my daughter holding my hand and I would go to sleep. I wouldn’t have to worry about her coming home and finding me,” said cancer patient, Christy O’Donell from Los Angeles.

The 46-year-old single mother is the lead plaintiff in the case.

She is a former LAPD sergeant who is currently suffering from stage four lung cancer.

Doctors have given O’Donell less than six months to live.

“The most likely way that I will die is that my left lung with fill with fluid and I will start drowning in my own fluid,” said O’Donell.

The group filed the lawsuit in conjunction with “Compassion & Choices,” a nonprofit, end of life group that also worked with 29-year-old terminally ill, brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard.

Maynard died peacefully last November in Oregon, one of five states where end of life options are legal.

Right now, there is also a bill being considered by the California legislature to make right to die legal in the state.

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