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October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


Citing support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Act into law Monday, giving a Valencia woman and others like her the legal choice to end their lives with a doctor’s assistance.

“When I first heard, honestly, I was speechless and just kept saying ‘Wow,’” said Christy O’Donnell, a major advocate for the legisaltion and lead plaintiff in a related lawsuit. “I knew with 100 percent certainty this law was going to pass, but I wasn’t certain that it was going to pass in my lifetime.”

O’Donnell is a single-mom, civil rights attorney and former LAPD sergeant who has brain, liver, lung, rib and spine cancer. She’s morphine intolerant. She was going to die painfully from her illness, before the bill was made law.

Christy O'Donnell (left) with her daughter.

Christy O’Donnell (left) with her daughter.

AB2x15 allows mentally-capable, terminally-ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for aid-in-dying drugs to painlessly and peacefully hasten their death, according to a news release.

Brown said his signing message:

ABx2-15 is not an ordinary bill because it deals with life and death. The crux of the matter is whether the State of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering.

I have carefully read the thoughtful opposition materials presented by a number of doctors, religious leaders and those who champion disability rights. I have considered the theological and religious perspectives that any deliberate shortening of one’s life is sinful.

I have also read the letters of those who support the bill, including heartfelt pleas from Brittany Maynard’s family and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In addition, I have discussed this matter with a Catholic Bishop, two of my own doctors and former classmates and friends who take varied, contradictory and nuanced positions.

In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.

I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.

In a press release from the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, O’Donnel said: “I’m overjoyed for all the terminally ill people in California, who can now relax knowing they finally have the choice of aid in dying as one of their end-of-life options. No more worrying that they will suffer great physical and emotional pain at the end of their life when they have already suffered painfully for so long as a result of their terminal illnesses,” . “Governor Brown, you have made me a proud Californian today knowing I live in a state where our governor acts in accordance with what his people need, want, and deserve. In this case, a peaceful and pain free death with their family.”

 

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13 Comments

  1. What a heroic act Gov. Brown!!! Hopefully, this saves many families from suffering through the prolonged pain of losing a loved one, or suffering for a lifetime through a loved one’s suicide because they were in so much mental and physical pain waiting for the end come they really had no choice…

  2. Copied from another post I read….Here is a link to the wording of the law. I must admit it was not that long ago that I would have opposed this. After seeing Brittany Maynard’s brave struggle with unbearable pain and imminent death, I have softened my views considerably. No one is forced to do this. I would venture to guess that someone must be in horrendous pain, with absolutely no hope of anything except for the pain to get worse, in order to consider this option. I don’t know that I could ever do that but I have never been in that situation. Who am I to judge what is physically unbearable to someone else? Let it be between that person and God, don’t try to be God yourself. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billCompareClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB128

  3. Dan O'Connell says:

    Thanks to Jerry Brown for giving highest consideration to those whose religious beliefs may differ from his. Thanks to Brittany Maynard and Christy O’Donnell for taking up the fight on this!!! I and millions of other Californians are now comforted that we may have this option if ever we need it. THANK YOU!!!!

  4. Mary Osborn Mary Osborn says:

    It’s about time! Thank You Governor Brown!!

  5. Mary Osborn Mary Osborn says:

    It’s about time! Thank You Governor Brown!!

  6. Kim Audet Kim Audet says:

    This is great news.

  7. Javi says:

    Maybe Jerry Brown will kill himself now?

  8. April Fiege April Fiege says:

    #goodjobcalifornia :-D

  9. Dana Deuson Dana Deuson says:

    No one should suffer period.

  10. Ckay Walker Ckay Walker says:

    Mercy and dignity at last! Thank you for you perseverance and determination and strength. Blessings.

  11. Lynnette Merlo says:

    I am more then pleased that we have a right to end our life if we are suffering and in pain. No human should suffer.

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Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
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