California becomes fifth US state to allow euthanasia | Inquirer News

California becomes fifth US state to allow euthanasia

/ 08:26 AM October 06, 2015
Debbie Ziegler

In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, Debbie Ziegler, mother of Brittany Maynard, speaks to the media after the passage of legislation, which would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives, at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. The measure to allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication succeeded on its second attempt after the heavily publicized case of Maynard, the woman with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to legally take her life. California will become the fifth state in the nation to allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives using doctor-prescribed drugs. AP Photo

LOS ANGELES, United States—California became the fifth US state to allow physician-assisted suicide, after the governor on Monday signed a controversial bill letting terminally-ill patients seek a doctor’s help ending their lives.

Governor Jerry Brown, in a statement, said he consulted members of the Catholic Church, which is opposed to measure, as well as physicians, before making the decision.

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“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” said the 77-year-old governor, who as a young man studied to enter the priesthood.

“I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain,” Brown said.

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“I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill,” he added.

“And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

READ: California lawmakers approve right-to-die legislation

The bill makes California the fifth US state to allow assisted suicide after Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

A New Mexico judge in 2014 approved assisted suicide, but his decision was later struck down by an appeals court.

Euthanasia has long been a controversial issue in the United States.

READ: Terminally ill US woman kills herself

The topic was brought to the forefront in California by the case of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with a brain tumor who moved from San Francisco to Oregon and took her own life last November.

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TAGS: bill, Brittany Maynard, California, controversial, doctor, euthanasia, lives, Patients, State, US
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