Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently survived a recall election, that does not mean he is backing down from his often controversial agenda.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports he recently signed a bill that will streamline the process of assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.
Newsom approved the new rules for physician-assisted suicide on Tuesday and the changes are expected to go into effect next year, the Chronicle noted.
Specifically, the action cuts the waiting time for assisted suicide from 15 days to just two.
Compassion and Choices Action Network President and CEO Kim Callinan hailed the governor’s decision, asserting: “We cannot thank Gov. Gavin Newsom enough for his support of this compassionate act.”
As for the driving force behind the bill, Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood and Democratic state Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman drafted the updated rules. Advocates for euthanasia have argued that the changes were needed to help alleviate the suffering of terminally ill patients.
“With his signature, eligible terminally ill adults will soon be able to more easily access the End of Life Option Act without needless suffering and unnecessary roadblocks,” said Callinan.
“Changed their minds”
The End of Life Option Act was authorized by former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016 and made euthanasia legal in California.
Of course, the issue remains mired in a fierce ethics debate, particularly within the medical community. Critics largely believe that the act of physician-assisted suicide violates the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm.”
Meanwhile, advocates frame it as an act of compassion. In any case, there is no denying that euthanasia results in purposely taking someone’s life — and the new rules in California are sure to intensify the debate even more.
Organizations like California Family Council and the California Catholic Conference have mounted a fierce backlash against the latest update. Disability Rights California senior policy advocate Sawait Seyoum brought up one common argument among critics, asserting: “Many people requesting assisted suicide have changed their minds, some living decades beyond their prognosis.”
While the 15-day waiting period existed to address the possibility of patients changing their minds, Newsom and California Democrats chose instead to cater to the extreme in a decision that could lead to unnecessary deaths.