CALIFORNIA—Governor Jerry Brown signed bill a on September 5 at the California Assembly to pass a new bill that would allow terminally ill, but competent patients to end their lives at will with the help of medical staff.
Although met with some resistance by various religious organizations and advocates for people with disabilities, who have concern over caregivers potentially pressuring those that apply to take their own lives, the governor has issued a signing message about the new law:
“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.”
The former Jesuit Seminary student has modeled the act after Oregon’s ‘Right to Die’ law in which California resident, Brittany Maynard, 29 at the time, decided to move to the state of Oregon to end her own life after a painful battle with brain cancer last fall. Her husband, Dan Diaz and other family members have advocated for suffering patients to be afforded the same rights in the state of California.
Oregon, Washington and Vermont were the only 3 states to pass the ‘Die with Dignity’ law. California has now been added to the list.
Diaz, who is still living in Oregon and attended the Compassion & Choices event on Wednesday to commemorate the death and life of his late wife, Brittany Maynard, got their wish. Diaz spoke out about the law, claiming that, “Brittany wanted this legislation in California so others would not have to go through what she went through.” He also says that Jerry Brown “granted one of her last wishes.”