In the article about the death-with-dignity law, it’s refreshing to find Sens. Bill Monning and Lois Wolk accepting the wishes of about 65 percent of voters in California who wish to have the same rights that are available to residents of Oregon, Washington, Vermont and other states. What patients wish, when facing an illness that will end their life, is not a “rightto-die,” but the human wish to have some control over how, where and, most importantly, when they die.
It’s time for this Legislature to finally accept the demands of the citizens of California, after previously blocking attempts to have this wish for patient autonomy honored, by removing the penalty for aiding a dying person to have a peaceful dying process, perhaps hastened by a few hours, days or weeks.
It’s also time for the California Medical Association to understand that many times doctors are not prolonging a good quality of life, but are prolonging a painful, undignified and inhumane dying by unwanted medicalization of the process. It’s significant that only onethird of physicians continue to belong to that organization.