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Will California Follow Oregon With A “Death With Dignity” Law?

Compassion & Choices
29-year-old California native Brittany Maynard -- terminally ill with brain cancer -- moved to Portland in 2014 to take advantage of Oregon's Death With Dignity Act. She publicly advocacted for a similar law in California.

Lawmakers in California have passed a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to a terminally-ill patient who requests it.

Oregon was the first state to pass such a law when voters approved the Death With Dignity Act in 1997. Since then, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico have joined Oregon.

Sometimes referred to as “doctor-assisted suicide,” proponents prefer the term “aid in dying.” But whatever you call it, whether it becomes law in America’s most populous state depends on whether California Governor Jerry Brown signs or vetoes the bill now on his desk.

JPR’s Liam Moriarty speaks with Ben Adler, Capital Bureau Chief with Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.