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California Governor signs into law 'end of life' bill

Staff writer |
California Governor Jerry Brown said he signed into law a bill that would allow terminally ill people to request drugs from a doctor to end their own life.

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In a signing letter, Governor Brown said he consulted with Catholic bishops and doctors, and reflected upon his own death.

"I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain," Brown wrote. "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."

California becomes the fifth state to allow so-called assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.

The new law permits 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.

The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns its special session on healthcare and the earliest likely adjournment would be in January.

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