Thursday, May 24, 2018

California Assisted Suicide Law Is Unconstitutional; Decision Upheld by Appeals Court

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last week, Riverside Superior Court Judge, Daniel Ottolia, overturned California's assisted suicide law when he ruled that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority [when enacting it]

California passed the state's assisted suicide law in a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session.

Judge Ottolia, held that "the End of Life Option Act [legalizing assisted suicide] does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services," and that it "is not a matter of health care funding."

More great news: 

The Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision. Therefore at this time the California assisted suicide law is not in effect.

California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed an appeal of the decision to the 4th District Court of Appeal. According to the LA Times Becerra argued that:

"The enactment fell within the scope of the special session called, in part, to consider efforts to 'improve the efficiency and efficacy of the health care system ... and improve the health of Californians,' "
Yesterday the Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision. NPR News reported:
California's Fourth District Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to stay last week's decision by the Riverside County Superior Court, which ruled that state lawmakers should not have passed the law during a special session on health care funding.
Kaiser Health News reported that:
An appeals court on Wednesday refused to block a court decision that said a California law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives was passed illegally. California's 4th District Court of Appeal refused to grant an immediate stay requested by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra. However, the court gave Becerra and other parties time to "show cause,"  that is, provide more arguments as to why the court should grant the stay and suspend the lower court ruling. There was no immediate comment from Becerra's office. (5/23).
The Court of Appeals stated in the decision that the majority agreed with denying a stay of the decision while the minority wanted to grant an immediate stay of the decision. Therefore the Court of Appeals gave "real parties" 25 days to file a formal return as to why a stay should be granted.

Compassion & Choices [C & C, an assisted suicide lobby group], states, in their press release, that the law remains in effect, despite the appeal court ruling.

I am convinced that C & C is baiting pro-assisted suicide doctors to continue prescribing lethal drugs to enable them to create a legal challenge to the decision that correctly found that the California assisted suicide law is unconstitutional.

Since the California assisted suicide law was declared unconstitutional based on how it was implemented and the Court of Appeals refused to stay the decision.

Life Legal Defense Foundation [brought the motion matter before Judge Ottolia, which resulted in the law's being declared unconstitutional]

[In the fine print, the now void law also allows euthanasia - Margaret Dore]