California, which vaunts the 8th largest economy in the entire world, just passed a bill through the state senate clearing assisted deaths for terminally ill adults with less than six months to live. The “End of Life Option Act” cleared the California senate with a 23-to-14 decision, and now it will make its way to the assembly for consideration.
The bill holds that mentally competent adults with “sixth months or less to live” have the option to request medication that will end their pain and suffering by means of death, according the Los Angeles Times. The bill comes with a security stipulation requiring terminally ill adults to secure two separate physicians to confirm the patient’s prognosis.
The End of Life Option Act comes in the wake of Oregon, Vermont, and Washington’s decision to legalize physician assisted suicide. The famous modern philosopher Peter Singer, encourages the mass legalization of physician assisted suicide, in his magnus opus, Practical Ethics. He justifies physician assisted suicide based on the maxim: “an interest is an interest whoever’s interest it may be.” Basically, a terminally ill patient, amidst intense pain and suffering, and the bereavement of capital to pay for medical expenses, may have an interest to die sooner, and that interest ought to be give the same weight as the doctor whose interest is presumably to save lives and eliminate suffering by any means possible.
Given the immensity of California, geographically, economically, and historically, the success of the “End of Life Option Act” could result in a widespread acceptance of assisted-death, a policy opposed by vehemently by the Vatican and Catholics for its flagrant denial of catholic doctrine and suicide. It will be interesting to see how the bill plays out.