Group Files Lawsuit To Allow Assisted Suicide in California
Compassion & Choices is lobbying in support of a bill (SB 128) that would allow some dying patients to end their lives through lethal doses of medication.
Details of Lawsuit
According to "KPCC News," the lawsuit -- which was filed in San Diego County Superior Court on behalf of a palliative doctor and three terminally ill patients -- argues that the California Constitution and current state law permit doctors to:
- End life-sustaining treatments under certain circumstances; and
- Provide patients "terminal sedation," in which a patient is sedated into unconsciousness until he or she dies.
The plaintiffs argue that there is no distinction between such practices and physicians prescribing lethal doses of medication.
The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for physicians who assist mentally competent patients with terminal illnesses who request lethal medication to end their lives.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) and the district attorneys of San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento counties are named as defendants in the suit (O'Neill, "KPCC News," KPCC, 5/18).
Assembly Passes 'Right-To-Try' Bill
The measure, by Assembly member Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), now heads to the state Senate.
Under the "right-to-try" legislation, patients with terminal illnesses who have tried all other viable treatment options would be able to request drugs that have not yet been approved by state or federal regulators. Drugmakers would decide whether to provide the medication (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/18).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.