Judge Rejects Injunction Against Calif.’s Doctor-Assisted Suicide Ban
On Friday, a San Francisco Superior Court judge refused to issue a temporary injunction against a California law that criminalizes physician-assisted suicide, CBS San Francisco reports.
In February, three doctors, along with four patients with terminal illnesses, filed a lawsuit challenging the law, which they said is 140 years old and ambiguous.
Last week, the doctors requested a preliminary injunction against the law before a lawsuit seeking to legalize the practice was decided (California Healthline, 8/14).
Details of Ruling
On Friday, Judge Ernest Goldsmith in his decision to deny the petition raised concerns that if the law were changed, patients who were struggling financially as a result of their terminal illness could choose to die just because they could not afford treatment.
He noted that by granting the petition, he also would be creating a judge-made law without constituents' input. He said the Legislature has better authority to address the issue.
Kathryn Tucker, a plaintiff's attorney, said that despite the decision, there is still strong public support for assisted death in California.
She noted that the case helped raise awareness about the outdated state law banning physician-assisted death. She said plaintiffs would decide within a week whether to appeal the decision (CBS San Francisco, 8/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.