Jerry Brown: Suicide good, extending life not

Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed "Right to Try" legislation passed by large bipartisan majorities of both houses of the California legislature. In my recent Washington Examiner column on "Right to Try," I noted that 24 states have adopted such measures, championed by the Goldwater Institute, which would allow terminal patients access to medicines certified as safe but not approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. Brown justified his veto on the grounds that the FDA already has a compassionate use policy that allows some patients some access to these drugs. But as the Goldwater Institute points out, that process is incredibly cumbersome and only a small percentage of those in need are able to jump through all its hoops.

Less than a week before Brown signed a bill legalizing assisted suicide, on the grounds that it would help patients avoid suffering. But now he has vetoed right to try, which would help terminal patients avoid suffering and extend their lives. He will need all of his Jesuit training, and more, to reconcile those two decisions.

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