California To Appeal Ruling On Life-Ending Drugs


A Riverside Superior Court judge yesterday held the states End of Life Option Act is unenforceable because it was enacted by the Legislature during a special session that was called for an unrelated objective. The bill's proponents tout dignity, choice, compassion, and painlessness.

Packer said that her insurance company would not fund potentially life-saving chemotherapy treatments for her lung cancer, but instead offered her "aid-in-dying" drugs that would cost her $1.20.

Even if the state loses in its appeal, California's legislature would likely pass an identical piece of legislation while avoiding the procedural issues cited in Ottolia's ruling. "Doctors, by the generic polls, have been generally supportive; in practice, very few participate", she said.

"For too many, assisted suicide will be the only affordable "treatment" that is offered them", Ms. Packer said in a statement.

Betsy Davis threw herself a party before becoming one of the first people to use a California law allowing her to take her own life in 2016.

Stephen G. Larson, who was the lead counsel for a group of doctors who sued in 2016 to stop the law, tells The Sacramento Bee, "We're very satisfied with the court's decision today".

On Tuesday, Ottolia heard argument from both sides surrounding the matter and agreed with LLDF that the passage of the bill was not related to the special session.

"If this isn't Californians' health care, I don't know what is", said Eggman, a former social worker at hospices, who disputes Ottolia's conclusion that her bill should not have been considered during the special session.

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The initial legislative effort to pass an assisted suicide bill failed in committee during the 2015 regular season, following months of media attention to the case of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with an aggressive brain tumor who moved from California to OR in order to take advantage of legal physician-assisted suicide there.

Opponents of the law applauded the judge's decision. "When we move forward, there are those who would like to drag us back".

"I think this is a short-term victory for people who object on religious principles to the availability of this option", Harry Nelson, an attorney who represents several doctors who have written prescriptions under the law, told the Los Angeles Times. "They're disappointed that this end of life option could be taken away", John Kappos said, an attorney representing the organization. About one in five Americans live in a state where physician-assisted suicide is legal, according to Compassion and Choices.

"We are pleased with today's ruling, which reinstates critical legal protections for vulnerable patients", Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder said in a statement on the ruling.

In January 2018, the California Catholic Conference reiterated its opposition to assisted suicide and criticized the lack of data collected and the lack of transparency of the law's implementation.

California is one of seven states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, along with the District of Columbia, that allow doctors to prescribe lethal prescriptions for terminally ill patients.

Larson said the special session was not called to debate assisted suicide but rather California's Medicaid welfare program serving low-income families and persons with disabilities, among others.

So far, he said, there has been "not a single report of malfeasance or problems".