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California judge overturns End of Life Option Law

California judge overturns End of Life Option Law

The Times reported that nearly 1 in 5 Americans lives are covered by physician-assisted suicide laws.

In the first year that the law became effective, Monning said some 111 people in California have chosen to end their lives.

Life Legal attorneys said they appeared in court to argue the law, which decriminalizes physician-assisted suicide, is not related or even incidental to the stated goal of the special session and that suicide is not health care.

Judge Daniel A. Ottolia of Riverside County Superior Court ruled that the California Legislature violated existing law when it passed the End of Life Option Act during a special session dedicated to health care. Wanting to end her life, the 29-year-old moved to OR in June 2014 to take advantage of that state's medical aid-in-dying law.

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.

"He's not acknowledging it's a health care issue, even though we believe it is", spokesman Sean Wherley said.

"We are thrilled by today's ruling, which reinstates critical legal protections for vulnerable patients", said Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder.

But the law received criticism from oncologists, who say dying patients often outlive their terminal diagnoses. "For too many, assisted suicide will be the only affordable "treatment" that is offered them", she said.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra voiced strong disagreement with the ruling and said he plans to appeal it. Life Legal Defense Foundation and the American Academy of Medical Ethics - both of which have affiliations with religious groups - led the way in challenging the law.

"I pray the attorney general successfully appeals this decision, so hundreds of terminally ill Californians like me don't have to suffer needlessly at life's end", he said.

"Suicide does not improve health", she wrote.

The California law permits state residents who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and supposedly have less than six months of life remaining to receive a prescription from a physician for a lethal dose of drugs.

California's End of Life Option Act requires patients to get approval from two physicians, and mandates a 15-day waiting period between the two oral requests they must submit, one to each doctor, before they can obtain the lethal drug to end their life. "We strongly disagree with this ruling and the State is seeking expedited review in the Court of Appeal", the attorney general's office said in a statement. He honors his wife by continuing to advocate for aid in dying legislation for terminally ill patients, he said. He pointed to Nevada's handling of assisted suicide bills, including one that cleared the state senate in 2017 before being defeated in a Democrat-controlled assembly committee.

George Eighmey, national board president of the nonprofit Death With Dignity argued that as the court battle unfolds, people who want to die will be forced to place their death on hold.

"Just as assisted suicide contravenes the Hippocratic oath, the judge found that the California legislature contravened the state constitution", stated CMDA CEO Dr. David Stevens.