This is pretty interesting: California just legalized assisted suicide for “mentally competent adults who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and face the expectation that they will die within six months.” It’s an important choice to be able to make, as well as an extremely personal one. And Governor Brown didn’t make this decision lightly.
Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths.
Brown appeared to struggle in deciding whether to approve the bill, whose opponents included the Catholic Church. “In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “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.”
…The California law will permit 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.
I can’t imagine having to make this decision for myself or a loved one, but our time on this planet is short…and if someone close to me was living in constant agony or with very little quality of life, I hope that I would be able to respect their choice to let go.
I don’t support people committing suicide in just any scenario, however. Last year a friend of mine killed himself after battling depression for years, which was truly awful because he had given up hope and (as far as I know) wasn’t seeking any help. That is something we should never have to see. But if he were months away from death due to an illness and his life was a painful living hell, who am I to deny him release from that? It’s not an easy choice to make for yourself, but nobody should be able to deny you that option.
And of course some people tried to deny Californians that option. Guess who?
Tim Rosales, a spokesman for Californians Against Assisted Suicide, which includes doctors, advocates for the disabled, the California Catholic Conference and other religious groups, criticized Brown’s action. …Catholic Church officials, when asked for comment, said Rosales would speak for them.
Surprise, surprise. And we’re not just talking Republicans here — Democrats voted against it too, on religious grounds. Once again people are using religion to try and take away peoples’ important life choices. This is simply nobody’s business but your own, and you should be able to make that decision for yourself.