he new law permits physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to mentally competent adults who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and face the expectation that they will die within six months.
“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown said after signing the controversial legislation. “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.”
California becomes the fifth state to allow assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.
Supporters of the law say the drugs will give a peaceful end to those suffering the most, while opponents argue terminally ill patients could feel pressure to take their own lives.
Terminally ill Brittany Maynard ends her life
The proposal gained momentum after Californian Brittany Maynard, 29, received national attention in 2014 by moving to Oregon and ending her life there after months of debilitating and painful effects from brain cancer. Maynard’s husband and mother lobbied for the California bill, saying it was one of her dying wishes.