California Considers Assisted Suicide Legislation

Senate bill inspired by right-to-die activism of Brittany Maynard.


Brittany Maynard ||| Brittany Maynard Fund
Brittany Maynard Fund

California legislators are looking to bring Oregon's assisted suicide law down a few miles to the Golden State. The move was inspired by the very public death of Brittany Maynard, 29, who moved from California to Oregon so that she could legally end her own life rather than to suffer due to terminal cancer.

Senate Bill 128, known as the "End of Life Option Act," mimics Oregon's law and would allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill, mentally competent adults. Read the legislation here. Maynard's mother and husband gave statements in support of the legislation at a press conference yesterday when it was introduced by state Sen. Lois Volk (D-Davis). From the Sacramento Bee:

"Please help me carry out my daughter's legacy," Maynard's mother, Debbie Ziegler, said after sharing the story of how her family uprooted their lives in California to relocate to a state where Maynard could choose how to die.

Maynard's widower, Dan Diaz, called his wife's decision "ethical and very logical."

"This is not something that is any sort of mandate. Leave it to the patient to decide for themselves. A legislator or a religious figure should not get in the way of that. That's pretty much a quote from Brittany," said Diaz, who lives in the Bay Area town of Alamo.

California previously considered right-to-die legislation in 2006 and 2007.  

Below, Reason TV on the fight for the right to die in Montana: