California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a right-to-die bill into law early Tuesday morning. The controversial bill will allow physicians in the state to prescribe life-ending medications to those with a terminal illness who wish to end their lives.
"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," Brown told CNN, "no matter how great his pain and suffering."
As written, the bill, called the End of Life Option Act, would require two verbal requests for life-ending medication, at least 15 days apart, as well as a written request. The written request, the bill states, must be attested in front of two witnesses, and must be conducted by a resident who is “of sound mind,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The bill was opposed by members of the Catholic Church and other religious organizations, but Center for Inquiry praised its passage. "There can be no more intimate, self-defining decision for a person than the decision whether to continue living," Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said in a press release. "That decision must not rest with any church, politician, or cultural tradition, but with the person who is terminally ill."