Last Wednesday in the California State Senate, Sens. Lois Wolk of Davis and Bill Monning of Santa Cruz introduced a new bill to make assisted suicide legal in California. Entitled the End of Life Option Act, the bill is designed to legalize assisted suicide in the state of California.
Of all recent developments in elder law, the coordinated push to allow for physician-assisted suicide is likely the most controversial. The assisted-suicide movement received an enormous publicity boost due to the death last year of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old New Jersey woman terminally ill with brain cancer. Because of restrictions in her home state, Maynard moved to Oregon, where the law allows the terminally ill to take their own life under medical supervision. In response to the publicity, the New Jersey legislature is now considering passage of a law that will enable state residents to have the option of following in Maynard's footsteps - supposedly a "humane and dignified death."