“Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, on Monday signed a measure allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths.
California becomes the fifth state to allow so-called physician-assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.
The new law is modeled after Oregon’s. It 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.
The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns its special session on healthcare, which may not be until next year. The earliest likely adjournment would be in January.”