Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Death with dignity law in California

The NY Times has the story: California Governor Signs Assisted Suicide Bill Into Law

"California will become the fifth state to allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure into law on Monday, ending his months of silence on one of the most emotional issues in the state this year.
In an unusually personal signing message, the governor, a former Jesuit seminarian, signaled how torn he was by the issue.
“I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain,” he wrote. “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.”
"Oregon has allowed what opponents call “assisted suicide” and supporters term “aid in dying” since 1997, and, after a Supreme Court ruling in 2006 that affirmed the law, Washington, Montana and Vermont have also approved the practice.
"Opponents have long raised concerns that ill and disabled people could be coerced into choosing death over more care, which can be expensive and burdensome. The Catholic Church, which considers suicide a sin, also helped lead opposition.
"In 2014, four states considered bills to allow physicians to help terminally ill patients end their lives; this year, that number increased to 24 states plus the District of Columbia, according to Compassion and Choices, a group that supported the law.
"The California law includes protections designed to assuage concerns about potential abuse. Patients must be terminally ill and mentally sound; they must be capable of administering the medication themselves; and two different doctors must approve it.
"Hospitals and doctors will also have the option of not offering end-of-life drugs..

No comments: