Today, October 5th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation granting citizens the right to expedite their death when suffering from a terminal illness. California joins Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana as one of now five states to permit doctor prescribed medicines to hasten death. The terminally ill must be deemed mentally sound, in other words not depressed, mentally ill, or deemed legally incompetent, to satisfy the requirements of exercising this new right. This emotionally charged legislation can have a profound effect on families. I have personally witnessed a close friend suffer from a terminal illness. This law now allows those like my friend to make a decision regarding their quality of life and whether, despite all efforts to the contrary, they can no longer tolerate the pain. Watch this video about a recent California resident who relocated to Oregon to end her life under its right to die law and who stirred the conscience of California's legislature about this right.
This is a highly sensitive topic for people to contemplate and discuss with those closest to them. If you, your family members, or loved ones would like to discuss how this new law affects your estate plans and the planning involved before going forward with a life or death decision, contact my office. I hope no one reading this has to make the decision now afforded California residents under the law.