California Assisted Death Lawsuit

FILE — Debbie Ziegler holds a photo of her daughter, Brittany Maynard, the California woman with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to legally end her life, during a news conference to announce the reintroduction of right to die legislation, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Sacramento, Calif. An appeals court formally ended a lawsuit, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, that in 2018 temporarily suspended a law by then-Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, left, that allows adults to obtain prescriptions for life-ending drugs. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO — AP) — An appeals court has formally ended a lawsuit that in 2018 temporarily suspended a California law that allows adults to obtain prescriptions for life-ending drugs, a gap that advocates blamed, Thursday, for a significant drop in its use that year.

California lawmakers made the lawsuit moot last month when they reauthorized and extended the law until 2031 while reducing the time until terminal patients projected to have six months or less to live can choose to be given fatal drugs.

The 452 terminally ill Californians who received prescriptions in 2018 was down 22% from the previous year, when 577 people received the lethal drugs, before increasing to 618 who obtained the drugs in 2019. 

Last year, 667 people obtained prescriptions. In each year, not everyone who received the drugs used them to end their lives. 

Compassion & Choices, a national organization that advocated for the law, blamed the drop three years ago on a Riverside County judge’s ruling in May 2018 that state legislators acted unconstitutionally when they passed the law during a special session that was devoted to health care in 2016.

Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia’s suspension was in place about three weeks before an appeals court reinstated the law.

But the advocacy group said at the time that the ruling interrupted the plans of about 200 patients who had already started the process, while causing confusion and fear among both doctors and patients about violating the law. 

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

Now this is """" just "my" opinion """...but I hope Nancy Pelosi's family members get this memo...ASAP.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.