Santa Clarita Terminally-ill Woman Lives To See Brown Sign End Of Life Act -- October 5, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the End of Life Act into law, allowing one of it’s lead plaintiffs, a terminally-ill Santa Clarita woman, the choice to end her life with a doctor’s assistance.

“When I first heard, honestly, I was speechless and just kept saying ‘wow,’” said Christy O’Donnell, a lead advocate for the bill. “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.

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 in a letter to the members of the California State Assembly:

“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.”

“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,” O’Donnell said, in a Compassion & Choices news release. “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.”

Brown’s signing of the End of Life Option Act follows the Senate passage of the bill by a vote of 23 to 15 on Sept. 11, according to the news release. Two days earlier, the Assembly passed the legislation with bipartisan support, 44 to 35.