State’s Aid-In-Dying Law In Judicial Limbo, Leaving Patients Uncertain
A court overturned California’s two-year-old physician-assisted suicide law, though a stay is in place. In other news, a loosely linked movement questions how, why and when we die, as well what constitutes a "good death."
Bay Area News Group:
California Court Opens World Of Uncertainty For The Dying
For now, the law stays in place. The state attorney general was allowed five days to ask the judge to suspend his judgment while the state appeals the case. If that request is approved, as expected, dying patients will continue to have access to prescriptions for a fatal dose of medication, said Kathryn Tucker, director of UC Hastings College of the Law’s End of Life Liberty Project. The dispute moves next to the Fourth District California Court of Appeal, Division Two, located in Riverside and governing Riverside, San Bernardino, and Inyo Counties. The outcome is uncertain. Linda J. Vogel, a former appellate court attorney from Pomona, called the court “conservative, politically and socially – it does not go out on a limb.” (Krieger, 5/20)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Going This Way? Death Is Still Inevitable, But 'Angels' And Cafes Want To Change Our Last Days
The shroud awaits us all, but it doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all garment. A broad-based, loosely-linked movement — call it the New Death — questions how, why and when we depart, as well what constitutes a good death. Inspired by a wide range of beliefs (and non-beliefs), these activists are united by a common desire to make dying less painful and more dignified. Some of these ideas are controversial. Last week, for instance, a court overturned California’s two-year-old physician-assisted suicide law. Advocates insist the measure alleviated unnecesary suffering by the terminally ill. Critics feared it could be used to hasten the departures of the elderly, infirm and inconvenient. (Rowe, 5/20)