Governor Jerry Brown Signs Right to Die Bill
The law authorizes an adult of sound mind to self-administer “an aid-in-dying” drug if he or she has a terminal diagnosis that is reasonably expected to end their life in six months and is a resident of California. The drug must be obtained through his or her attending physician through series of requests. The law states, “An individual seeking to obtain a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug…shall submit two oral requests, a minimum of 15 days apart, and a written request to his or her attending physician. The attending physician shall directly, and not through a designee, receive all three requests… .” More stipulations can be found here.
Governor Brown issued a message when he signed the bill into law. See below:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
ABx2 15 is not an ordinary bill because it deals with life and death. The crux of the matter is whether the State of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering.
I have carefully read the thoughtful opposition materials presented by a number of doctors, religious leaders and those who champion disability rights. I have considered the theological and religious perspectives that any deliberate shortening of one’s life is sinful.
I have also read the letters of those who support the bill, including heartfelt pleas from Brittany Maynard’s family and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In addition, I have discussed this matter with a Catholic Bishop, two of my own doctors and former classmates and friends who take varied, contradictory and nuanced positions.
In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.
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.Edmund G. Brown Jr.