California’s Assisted Death Law Struck Down

California's Assisted Death Law Struck Down

In 2015, California passed what many people considered to be a groundbreaking physician-assisted death law. A court has now overturned it.

Advocates and detractors of physician-assisted suicide have been paying close attention to the state of California. A law passed in 2015 allowed physician-assisted suicide in California.  The law was thought to be a good opportunity to see how it would work in a highly populated state, especially since the law contained important provisions concerning record keeping and reporting.

Regular reports on how the law was being used were supposed to be issued by the state. While the law is very popular with citizens according to polling data, many doctors were less impressed and a group of them sued in 2016 to stop the law.

Recently, a judge in California ruled in favor of the doctors and struck down the law as the Sacramento Bee reports in ”

The doctors argued that the law did not adequately define terminal illness, and it was not clear which patients were eligible for physician assistance. The law also exempted from liability those people who helped patients with physician assisted death. The doctors complained that the law was not passed by the legislature and did not follow the appropriate procedure. The judge agreed with these claims.

The law’s supporters point out that the ruling was not about the legality of physician-assisted death itself, and California has subsequently filed an appeal of the court’s ruling.

Reference: Sacramento Bee (May 15, 2018) “California assisted death law overturned in court.”

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