The California Assembly voted for the first time on Wednesday to allow physician-assisted suicide of terminally ill patients, sending the bill to the state Senate where supporters are hoping to meet a Friday deadline for final passage.

The lower house of the legislature, meeting in special session in Sacramento, approved the End of Life Option Act on a vote tallied by supporters at 43-34.

The Senate adopted a similar bill in June but it foundered amid opposition from the Roman Catholic Church.

After it was pulled from consideration in the legislature’s regular session in July, it was reintroduced last month as part of a special session on healthcare called by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

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