Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Right-to-Die Bill into Law

Allows mentally competent adults with terminal illnesses to legally get life-ending drugs.


It was probably too late for the priest thing anyway.
Credit; Neon Tommy / photo on flickr

California will join Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana in permitting adults with a terminal illness to legally get drugs from physicians that allow them to end their own lives. Gov. Jerry Brown today signed The End of Life Options Act into law. From the Los Angeles Times:

The new law is modeled after Oregon's. It permits physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to mentally competent adults who have been diagnosed both with a terminal illness and the expectation that they will die within six months.

The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns its special session on healthcare, which may not be until next year. The earliest likely adjournment would be in January.

The governor's action caps months of emotional and contentious debate over the The End of Life Option Act, which divided physicians, ethicists, religious leaders and the Democratic majority in the Legislature.

Most Republican lawmakers opposed the bill on moral grounds. Democrats who voted against it cited religious views or experiences in which family members given months to live by doctors had lived for years.

Much is being made of the fact that Brown once studied to become a priest. The Catholic Church was opposed to bill. In Brown's signing letter he says he read the arguments from both sides. He concluded, "I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others."

ReasonTV covered Montana's debate whether to legally permit assisted suicide in 2013. Watch below:

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  1. It’s a baby step, but it’s better than nothing.

    1. ^This. Also, because of the huge population of California this will make things better for a lot of people, and have a normalizing effect on this.

    2. A baby step from allowing the non-productive to off themselves to nudging them to requiring would be my guess. How fast could California balance its budget if all the sick old geezers croaked it? (Trick question: For every billion saved on healthcare costs they’d just spend two somewhere else. Probably on high-speed rail.)

      1. With the left, you’re always on a slippery slope.

  2. How about that, they got one right.

    1. Don’t expect any repeat performances.

  3. We still have to ban guns to prevent suicides, right?

  4. “I wouldn’t deny that right to others”

    In this one isolated case.

    1. Damn your fingers!

  5. He concluded, “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

    “I would, however, deny plenty of other rights.”

  6. This is instance of where the left gets something right, but not for the right reasons. It’s not that they care about the peasants. It’s that those particular biological resources are no longer producing any revenue and might even cost the state money. Can’t have that.

    Wait until it’s the reverse and along comes medical tech that will allow people to live a longer healthier life. Watch them go full on nazi against that. Right to death? Sure. Right to more life? We have to have some common sense regulations here.

  7. While I generally support this I wouldn’t be surprised to see Medicare and Medicaid will start offering coverage for these drugs while refusing to cover medical care that will extend lives. Government regulators will pressure private insurers to do the same as it will help keep premiums low since the government is now in the business of subsidizing premiums.

    1. Ha ha, you’re so paranoid, you sound like Sarah Palin, ha ha, you’re so stupid with your right-wing scaremongering!

  8. He’s looking toward that sweet, sweet exit tax money.

  9. “Just as long as they don’t kill themselves with guns, amirite? Otherwise, we desperately need gun control to put a stop to that.

    However, with the right doctor’s note and using the correct drugs, why not? There’s no harm in that.”

  10. I fully expect these “Right To Forfeit Social Security Payments” laws will become the norm very quickly.

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