On October 5, 2015, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation – AB 15, the End of Life Options – allowing terminally ill patients to obtain lethal medications to end their lives when they choose. In an unusually personal signing message, the Governor noted: “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 won’t deny that right to others.”
Despite considerable opposition from disability rights groups who fear that abusive caregivers could steer persons with disabilities toward assisted suicide, and the Catholic church, wh ich opposes any measure that would shorten life, the End of Life Options bill, initially stalled in the Assembly, eventually passed during a special legislative session this summer after several amendments. The new law is scheduled to become effective sometime in 2016 – 91 days after the special legislative session concludes and includes a sunset date of January 1, 2026, unless another bill is passed to extend the law. California joins four other states – Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont – in allowing these options to end life.
Read More… the full text of the bill.
Read More… the Governor’s signing statement.