Gov. Jerry Brown of California is hearing plenty from opponentsand supporters of a bill state lawmakers passed earlier this month that would allow some terminally ill patients to hasten their death. Modeled after the pioneering right-to-die bill Oregon put into effect in 1997, California’s End of Life Option Act would allow people in the advanced stages of a terminal illness to obtain a lethal dose of painkillers from a physician.
Mr. Brown should sign the bill into law.
The bill includes robust safeguards. Patients would have to make two oral requests for the prescription, two weeks apart, and one in writing. Two doctors would have to certify that the patient is likely to die within six months. The written request must be made in front of witnesses who are asked to certify that the patient is of sound mind and is not being coerced.
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