Now Arnie really is the Terminator and it isn't funny any more.
SACRAMENTO – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has officially approved an assisted suicide measure allowing nurses to sedate, dehydrate and starve depressed or confused individuals they consider to be "terminally ill."
The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Patty Berg, a Democrat, passed the California Assembly Aug. 28, and the state Senate Aug. 20. It was signed by the governor yesterday.
The legislation, called the "Terminal Patients' Right to Know End of Life Options Act," or AB 2747, passed by a 42 to 34 vote. An Aug. 20 Senate vote of 21 to 17 ushered the measure to the governor's desk for signing.
Randy Thomasson, chief of the Campaign for Children and Families, said the legislation is dangerous and should have been vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
"AB 2747 pushes suicide through the back door at the hands of non-physicians taking advantage of depressed patients," he said in a statement. "AB 2747 cheapens the value of human life by endorsing suicide as an option."
The measure allows physician assistants and nurses to decide whether a person is "terminally ill" and deprive them of basic life-sustaining necessities such as food and water.
"Depressed patients who succumb to this pressure will be drugged unconscious and die from dehydration, usually within five to 10 days," Thomasson said. "Nothing in the bill prohibits this horror."