Wednesday, May 5, 2021

California Amendments Seek to Weaken Patient Protections, Attestation Provisions Eliminated

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By Margaret Dore, Esq.

On February 10, 2021, assisted suicide/euthanasia proponents introduced a bill seeking to amend California's End of Life Option Act. The bill, SB 380, eliminates the Act's 2026 sunset date, and also allows a 15 day waiting period to be shortened to 48 hours in certain circumstances.[1]

Katy Grimes, editor of the California Globe (pictured), had this to say:

When it comes to carrying out the death penalty for convicted murders, the California Legislature finds the lethal drug cocktails "cruel and unusual punishment," which they say is a violation of the Eighth Amendment. Yet lawmakers were more than willing to approve a lethal drug cocktail to allow sick people to kill themselves.  I wrote [this] in 2015 as the California Legislature was considering [passage of the Act].[2]

The proposed amendments also eliminate the Act's "attestation" provisions, which is probably a good thing.[3]

A hearing on SB 380 is set for May 10, 2021. This may be subject to change.

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[1]  Per the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, the existing Act sunsets as of January 1, 2026.  The 15 day waiting period is addressed in the bill itself, Section 2, which states: 

An individual seeking to obtain a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug pursuant to this part shall submit two oral requests, a minimum of 48 hours apart, and a written request to their attending physician.

[2]  Katy Grimes, "Proposed Amendments to California Assisted Suicide Law Makes Accessing it Easier," California Globe, 04/12/21.
[3]  See Letter from Margaret Dore to Assembly members, September 7, 2015, "Baker Amendments Unenforceable. Bill Still Allows Non-Voluntary and Involuntary Patient Killing Behind Closed Door."