California: Tell Gov. Brown to Sign Bill Legalizing Patient Choice at End of Life

An action alert from the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy:

The California legislature has just approved a bill that would legalize physician-assisted dying, and the Center for Inquiry (CFI) urges you to contact Gov. Jerry Brown right now and urge him to sign this measure into law. 

Senate Bill 128, the End of Life Option Act, would authorize “an adult who meets certain qualifications, and who has been determined by his or her attending physician to be suffering from a terminal illness, as defined, to make a request for medication prescribed pursuant to these provisions for the purpose of ending his or her life.” The bill would also establish procedures for making these requests.

Many people who are terminally ill want the option of meeting their death on their own terms, so that they can spare themselves and their families needless suffering. CFI firmly believes competent, terminally ill patients have a right to determine whether to prolong their life or hasten their death. Accordingly, CFI strongly supports legislation that authorizes physician-assisted dying.

However, adamant and well-financed opposition from religious institutions — especially the Catholic Church — has frustrated such efforts. We believe that at the end of a person’s life, no one else’s religious views should affect their medical care, including how or when they choose to die. Our lives don’t belong to any church, politician, or cultural tradition. Our lives are our own.

Five states have already authorized physician-assisted dying: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico. With your help, California could become the next.

You can take action here.