California is the fifth state to legalize aid in dying. Hands image via www.shutterstock.com.
“Twenty years ago, no one in the United States could claim a right to “physician aid in dying” (also called ‘physician-assisted suicide’). Today, more than 52 million Americans can.
“On June 9, California became the fifth state to permit its terminally ill residents to obtain a prescription for a lethal dose of medication, as the End of Life Option Act, which the state legislature passed in late 2015, went into effect. Now, with their physicians’ help, patients in California can minimize their suffering at the end of life by hastening their time of death.
“Recognition of a right to aid in dying began slowly.
“So why have Americans become more receptive to a practice that was rejected throughout the United States until Oregon changed course? Indeed, why did the California legislature pass an aid-in-dying law in 2015 when its voters opposed aid in dying in the 1992 referendum?”