Jerry Brown turned to his own doctor and Desmond Tutu in assisted-suicide decision
In signing a controversial assisted suicide bill Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown released a highly personal statement explaining his decision-making.
Here’s the text of that statement:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
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.
Sincerely, Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
MORE ON ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.