California Passes Right-To-Die Law, Will Jerry Brown’s Catholic Beliefs Allow Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia?

As California passes right-to-die legislation in the state senate, some wonder if California Governor Jerry Brown will actually sign the bill which would allow doctor-assisted suicide, or euthanasia. Brown has not yet indicated where he stands on the controversial issue, and some experts seem to think we might as well use a crystal ball to predict what will happen next.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, if California passes right-to-die legislation all the way into law, 51-year-old Elizabeth Wallner says she plans on using assisted suicide once the pain from her cancer becomes unbearable.

“I’ve experienced just unimaginable pain and fear, and I don’t see any value in my last days being spent gasping for breath and writhing in pain,” she explained.

Known as the The End Of Life Option Act, the bill requires that those wishing to end their life do so voluntarily. They must have the mental capacity to make medical decisions, and two witnesses must testify that the patient desires euthanasia based upon their own free will.

According to KTLA, Senator Lois Wolk, a co-author of the bill, claims California’s right-to-die law will give the terminally ill a chance at a peaceful death.

“We all hope for a comfortable death, to die painlessly surrounded by family and friends,” she said. “But that’s not always the reality. There are terminally ill Californians who at this moment are suffering as they battle the final stages of their disease…. By an overwhelming majority across all groups — religious, ethnic, geographic, no matter what age or gender — Californians want us to act to eliminate the needless pain and prolonged suffering of those who are dying.”

Even as the senate in California passes right-to-die laws, some are uncertain whether Governor Jerry Brown would agree. Besides being silent on the issue, Brown is a former Jesuit-trained Catholic seminarian, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Brown’s Catholic beliefs may play a large factor since since the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines euthanasia as “an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes the death of handicapped, sick, or dying persons—sometimes with an attempt to justify the act as a means of eliminating suffering.” Catechism number 2277 specifically forbids assisted suicide, with euthanasia being considered a form of murder.

Based upon this uncertainty, Time claims it may be difficult to say whether Jerry Brown will sign California’s right-to-die legislation into law.

“You’d need some kind of séance to figure out what he’s going to do,” says Jack Citrin, director of the Institute of Government Studies at UC Berkeley. “He plays his cards very close to the vest. He’s essentially a former seminarian, but when you ask if he’s Catholic now, he goes into the parsing of the word and what that means.”

In the end, the experts agree that if California passes right-to-die laws, then Governor Brown will not be considering political pressure. Thad Kousser, a political science professor at UC-San Diego, claims that Brown’s “moral compass is complex and he’s not going to be looking over his shoulder at the polls.”

[Image via Getty Images]

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