Right to Die Act in California
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
Inspired by the example of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old terminally ill woman who was forced to relocate from California to Oregon in order to end her own life, California passed the End of Life Option Act (ABx2-15) in mid-September 2015.
A version of the bill was introduced earlier in 2015 as SB 128 but was abandoned in committee due to opposition by the Roman Catholic Church and disability rights advocates. A new version of the bill was introduced in August 2015 and includes “sunset provision” providing for the Act’s expiration in a decade unless extended by the legislature. The bill passed in committee by a vote of 10 – 2; it then passed in the Assembly by a vote of 44-35 on September 9th and in the Senate by a vote of 23-14 on September 11th. The Act is set to go into effect in 2016 and Governor Brown has until October 11th to sign or veto the legislation.
How can a person seek aid in dying in California?
- First, the Act’s text and forms for requesting aid in dying can be accessed here: California Right To Die Bill
- Secondly, he/she must be given six months or less to live by 2 doctors;
- Third, he/she must submit a written request and two verbal requests for aid in dying at least 15 days apart; and
- Fourth, he/she must have the mental capacity to make his/her own health care decisions.
Discussing the Do’s and Don’ts of assisted dying may seem too morbid; however, after watching my own mother suffer and die over a period of months, I am convinced that these Do’s and Don’ts are valuable.
DO’S AND DON’TS
DON’T try to use this Act before 2016;
DO read the Act’s text and forms for requesting aid in dying, which can be accessed here: California Right To Die Bill
DO ensure that 2 doctors give you six months or less to live;
DO submit a written request for aid in dying and two verbal requests for aid in dying at least 15 days apart;
DO ensure that you are evaluated as having the mental capacity to make your own health care decisions.
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.
GENERAL LAW DOS AND DON'TS