California’s ‘aid-in-dying legislation’ takes effect

California’s ‘aid-in-dying legislation’ takes effect

California on Thursday joined the few U.S. states that allow terminally ill patients to legally receive lethal medication prescriptions from doctors to die peacefully.

State lawmakers approved the aid-in-dying legislation for the terminally ill last year, after 29-year-old cancer patient Brittany Maynard received international attention for her decision to shift from California to Oregon, which allows assisted suicide for the terminally ill patients.

While many people continue to criticize the new law, many others welcomed it. Kristy Allan, a 63-year-old resident of Placerville, has already undergone four rounds of chemotherapy since doctors told her that she had Stage 4 cancer in 2009. She welcomed the new law, saying she didn’t want to become a burden on her family and the new law would allow her to choose when wants to die.

Supporting the new law, she said, “I don’t want to become a burden to my family. I don’t want my husband to take care of certain hygienic needs. That’s my nonnegotiable thing. It’s a huge relief knowing it is legal. To have to take it, to go to the point where you know you are ending your life…”

With California’s newly-implemented assisted suicide law, nearly 16 per cent of the nation’s population has got the legal option for terminally ill patients to decide the moment of their death.

In a bid to prevent any encouragement to suicides, California lawmakers made the legislation really strict. A patient seeking assisted death will have to make multiple requests for the lethal medication and he or she must have a prognosis of less than 6 months to live.