California cancer patient sues for right to doctor-assisted death

February 12, 2015 02:10

LOS ANGELES - A 53-year-old California woman suffering from leukemia sued the state's attorney general and San Francisco's top prosecutor on Wednesday seeking the right for physicians to aid the terminally ill in taking their own lives.

The lawsuit asks San Francisco Superior Court to "clarify" that a California law making it illegal to aid, advise or encourage someone to commit suicide does not apply to doctors assisting a dying, mentally competent patient.

"I am suing the State of California to remove the legal barrier between my doctor and myself to help me achieve a peaceful and dignified death, at the time and place of my choosing," lead plaintiff Christine White said in a written statement released with the lawsuit.

White has battled aggressive cancer for seven years, first non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and then leukemia, which is currently in remission.

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