Everyone deserves the right to die with dignity and on their own terms, should the prospect of death due to injury or illness be imminent. Merely existing in pain and suffering during your last days on earth is a horrific way to end a legacy of life. As Alexei Beltyukov understands it, giving terminal patients the option of dying peacefully is a humane alternative to the agony of a painful impending death.
California is the latest state to address this sensitive issue by introducing the End of Life Option Act. Adopting many of the same measures as is found in Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, California Senators Lois Wolk and William Monning, are poised to establish legislation that would allow a mentally stable, terminally ill California adult to request and administer lethal medication to quietly end their life. This law would also prevent physicians, pharmacists and health care providers from being held liable of any charges.
Motivated by the life and family of terminally ill cancer patient, Brittany Maynard, this piece of legislation is hoped to ease the suffering of these patients and their families. Maynard’s highly publicized plea to California law makers to allow her to peacefully end her anguish resulted in her having to re-locate to Oregon where it is legal. She ultimately and legally died in a serene environment, surrounded by loved ones and on her own terms, as it should have been her right to do in any state.