For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
October 05, 2015
The Center for Inquiry congratulated Governor Jerry Brown of California today for signing into law ABx2, the End of Life Option Act, which gives Californians suffering from a terminal illness the power to decide whether to end their lives with the assistance of a physician. CFI, an organization that advocates for science, reason, and secularism, has long been a supporter of patient autonomy in end-of-life decisions, and helped rally support for this bill.
The End of Life Option Act will authorize “an adult who meets certain qualifications, and who has been determined by his or her attending physician to be suffering from a terminal illness, as defined, to make a request for medication prescribed pursuant to these provisions for the purpose of ending his or her life.”
“There can be no more intimate, self-defining decision for a person than the decision whether to continue living,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “That decision must not rest with any church, politician, or cultural tradition, but with the person who is terminally ill.”
Much of the opposition to the End of Life Option Act has come from the Catholic Church and other religious organizations that have theological objections to physician-assisted dying.
“Gov. Brown has done the right thing in resisting religious pressure against this bill, and we congratulate him for having the wisdom to acknowledge that the difficult choice of a dying person to hasten his or her death cannot be subject to anything beyond the conscience of the individual,” said Lindsay. “The signing of this bill is a victory for secular government and humanist values, because religious beliefs about God’s will and sin have no place dictating public policy, in end-of-life decisions or in anything else.”
More information on CFI’s positions regarding end-of-life policy can be found at the Keep Health Care Safe and Secular website, and in the position paper “A Call to Legalize Physician Assistance in Dying for the Terminally Ill” by Ronald Lindsay, an expert in philosophy and bioethics.
* * *
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.