California governor signs assisted dying bill into law

Brittany Maynard’s dream has become a reality.

A year after the 29-year-old terminally ill brain cancer patient moved to Oregon to die with the help of physician, her home state of California has legalized physician assisted dying.

The news came on Monday, after Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California’s End-of-Life Options, which was passed in the state’s legislature in September.

Modelled after Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, the California law allows doctors to issue “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,” according to a new report in the Los Angeles Times.

The new law won’t come into effect until sometime next year. When it does, California will become fifth state in the U.S. — and the most populous jurisdiction in the world — to offer legal physician assisted dying.


The late assisted dying activist Brittany Maynard.

Maynard gained international attention before her death through her advocacy for the right to assisted dying. Her passing on Nov. 1, 2014 amplified calls for change across the U.S., and her family members have been at the forefront of the fight for end-of-life choice in California.  

(Photo: California Air Resources Board/Wikipedia)

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