SACRAMENTO — The California Senate moved Friday to make the state’s assisted death law permanent and significantly shorten the time a terminally ill patient must wait for a fatal dose of medication.
The state Department of Public Health reported that 337 terminally ill people took drugs to end their lives in 2019, the most recent figures available, and 452 people received prescriptions that year under the law.
Nearly 2,000 people deemed to have six months or less to live have received a prescription since the law took effect on June 9, 2016.
In a 26-8 vote, senators approved changes to lift the law’s 2026 sunset date and make the drugs more accessible.
The current minimum 15-day waiting period required between the time patients make separate oral requests for medication would be reduced to 48 hours under the bill that now goes to the state Assembly.