Terminally ill people in California will now have access to legally prescribed medication that will help them end their life.

After a fierce debate, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Monday that makes California just the fifth state to legalize assisted-suicide.

Brown, who once studied to enter the priesthood, said the decision on whether or not to approve the bill was a difficult one.

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown said. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

Though he may not choose the option for himself, Brown said the choice should be left up to individuals and their families.

“The crux of the matter is whether the state of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering,” he said.

According to the L.A. Times, the historic law will go into effect 90 days after the legislature closes its special session on healthcare, which is projected to end in l January. The law will allow doctors to prescribe “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.”

Proponents of the law say it allows people to die with dignity, while opponents claim it may push some to end their lives prematurely.

Where do you stand? Do you think more states should legalize assisted-suicide? Weigh in below!

Photo: QMI Agency 

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  • Rizzo

    for some, the law will open up and allow options/choices.

  • Me

    My concern is the line between giving someone the *option* to end their life by prescribing pills, etc and being the one who *takes* that person’s life. I still feel like if you’re the one who ends it for someone, it’s murder, but if someone desperately wants to commit suicide, I think that’s a choice they should be allowed to make and execute on their own.

    • Ang

      The person has to be able to administer the drugs themselves.

  • RaiseTheBar


  • This involved terminally ill people. So, this law will be more common in more progressive states. I don’t see such laws more common in more conservative states anything soon. Me personally, there must be boundaries in determining such policies. There must be a balance between promoting the dignity of human life and voluntary human choices.

  • BillipPhailey