Recently, the right-to-die law was legalized in California. The state has become the largest one to give ill patients having no chance of recovery the right to freely choose their death by taking pills prescribed by their doctors.
The legislation, entitled”End of Life Option Act”, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
In order to justify this decision, the governor sent the California State Assembly a letter writing that he reflected on his own death and tried to see what decision he would make in front of an incurable disease and a big pain. Although he stated he wouldn’t know what decision to take, it would be a relief for him to know he has the possibility to get rid of the pain and die, so he doesn’t want other patients to be deprived of the right to choose.
Brown came to this conclusion after he had consulted with doctors, advocates, priests and even with Brittany Maynard’s family, a woman diagnosed with brain cancer who made an online campaign meant to make death a choice.
Apart from the letter, Brown refused to make any other comments regarding this subject until now.
Brown’s decision represents a victory for Compassion & Choices, a group that cooperated with Maynard and tried to legalize the law since 1991.
On the other hand, the activists opposing the law state that it gives people the possibility to prematurely suicide themselves. They also state that it would be wrong to give doctors the power to take lives by giving the patients lethal medicines.
Before dying, Maynard made her family promise they would continue fighting so that people have the right to choose if they want to die or not. As a consequence, her husband expressed his gratitude when he heard about the governor’s decision.
According to Compassion & Choices, the law is going to be enforced beginning with January 1, making California the 5th state that allows sick people to sign their own death in a legal way.
Image Source: Staticflickr