California assembly approves assisted suicide bill

On Friday, the California state legislature passed a bill that would allow doctor assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

If the bill receives Governor Jerry Brown’s ascent, patients who are mentally competent, have less than six-months to live, and with the agreement of two doctors, can ask for a prescription that would end their lives.

“We are here today on the precipice of granting a wish that I was not able to give my mother,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, who said her mother died in agony from a form of leukemia.

Those opposed to the bill have said that this bill would target the vulnerable, such as the disabled, or make it easier for greedy individuals to take advantage of wealthy and sick relatives.

Under the law, it would be a felony to coerce someone into choosing to end their lives.

This bill gained momentum after Brittany Maynard, a 29 year-old with terminal brain cancer, moved to Oregon to take advantage of their Death with Dignity legislation.

Maynard’s mother, Debbie Ziegler has been active in the right-to-die movement that her daughter fought for before her death.

“It’s such a beautiful culmination of the work that Brittany started,” Ziegler said after the vote on Friday. “It was a spine-tingling moment, and I’m so grateful to my brave, brave daughter and to all the people that worked on the campaign … there were hundreds and hundreds of them.”

Physician assisted suicide is legal in Washington State, Montana and Vermont.

 

[Reuters] [San Diego Union Tribune]