California becomes 5th state to legalize assisted suicide by Legal Affairs Writer, Victor Li
California Gov. Jerry Brown ended weeks of speculation by signing a controversial assisted suicide bill into law.
On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported Brown had officially signed the bill, which allows patients to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs. The bill had passed Sept. 11, but Brown, a devout Catholic and former seminary student, had given no indication whether he would sign it. California is now the fifth state in the country to allow assisted suicide, joining Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.
“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown stated. “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.”
According to the Times, California’s law was modeled after Oregon’s and allows doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to patients who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and told they will die in less than six months. The law would take effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, which is scheduled to run into early 2016.
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