The Catholic governor of California, Jerry Brown, today signed a bill into law legalizing physician-assisted suicide in California.

Brown, of course, distorted the truth. Surprise, surprise, right?

Governor Brown’s announcement said that “the crux of the matter is whether the State of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life.”

Sounds fine, right? Except that absolutely not what’s at stake here. In fact that has nothing to do with it. Suicide is not a crime under California law so he’s clearly attempting to shift the debate into easier ground. This law is about whether people like doctors or perhaps an old person’s possible heirs can assist.

Think about this. How many old or disabled people will hate to think of all the money being spent on them by loved ones caring for them or all the efforts by family members helping them and will opt for death instead to save everyone else trouble.

California became a crueler place today. Proponents of the law argue that people in terrible pain can opt out. But palliative care has never been better. That’s not what this is about.

This is about California running a cost/benefit analysis on life. If you’re old or disabled and not contributing maybe an early departure is best for everyone else.

Chuck Donovan, president of Charlotte Lozier Institute, called the law’s passage “tragic.”

“Legalization of doctor assisted suicide is like a forest fire. The practice has become so permissive in the Netherlands, for example, that doctors are now routinely euthanizing adults, infants, and children – sometimes without consent,” he said. “That the most populous state in the union has now enshrined this practice in law is a warning sign for the rest of the nation.”

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.