Inspired by a Bay Area woman’s highly publicized quest to end her grueling battle with cancer, lawmakers are renewing efforts to allow California’s terminally ill greater choice over how and when they die.
On Wednesday, two Democratic state senators and the family of the late Brittany Maynard will unveil the End of Life Option Act, which allows doctors in California to prescribe a lethal dose of medications to terminally ill patients.
“Our hope is to see the end-of-life option as part of a continuum of established rights available to patients,” said co-author Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, who is married to a physician and who has watched close friends suffer through their final days.
California’s current law blocked the 29-year-old Maynard, a UC Berkeley graduate and newlywed diagnosed with aggressive terminal brain cancer, from receiving physician-prescribed medications to end her life at her East Bay home. So she and her husband moved to Portland, Oregon, to take advantage of that state’s Death with Dignity law.