A new bill has been introduced this week that lets California doctors prescribe terminally ill patients a lethal dose of medications to end their lives. Similar legislative attempts have failed in the past, most recently in 2006. The new bill, called the End of Life Option Act, is unveiled in the wake of the death of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old Californian suffering from brain cancer who relocated to Portland, Ore., to end her life. Her decision helped renew debate over physician assisted suicides nationally.
The California bill is modeled after the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon that was passed in 1997, with two differences. It requires a translator for non-English speakers, and extends legal protections to pharmacists as well as physicians.
Besides Oregon, Vermont and Washington also have euthanasia laws. New Mexico and Montana allow the practice via court rulings, according to the Mercury News.
Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, (D-Stockton), representing the 13th Assembly District, which includes Stockton, Tracy, and Thornton. She is principal co-author of the bill, and author of last year’s bill on a related subject, AB 2139.
Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, a civil rights law and policy center with offices in Berkeley, Calif., and D.C.