Only one month after physician-assisted suicide became legal in California, a state agency is proposing to adopt emergency regulations that would transfer implementation and the potentially serious liabilities of the new law from state-run and funded agencies to the private sector.
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End of Life: Legal and Policy Issues
If those who are dying are embraced by their family and their community, they will not seek death, but will live their last days well, and then accept death when it comes.
This page contains information on legal and policy matters.
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(Spanish) The California Catholic Conference of Bishops, comprised of Bishops from the two archdioceses and 10 dioceses of California, issued the following statement on the legalization of physician-assisted suicide on June 9, 2016:
On June 9, 2016, in what the Bishops of California have called a “travesty of compassion,” physicians in California will legally be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a patient.
Despite bi-partisan opposition and being defeated in the regular legislative session, the End-of-Life Option Act was passed in a special, abbreviated session with limited hearings and altered committee membership.
This past Monday, one of our Advocacy Day bills, SB 1002 (Monning) was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. SB 1002 would require the California Department of Public Health to post a toll-free telephone number on its departmental website, on or before January 1, 2017, for the purpose of receiving and responding to questions in multiple languages about the End of Life Option Act, which is scheduled to take effect on June 9.
On Wednesday, the Senate Health Committee passed SB 1002 (Monning, D-Carmel) – End of Life Option Act: telephone number. This bill would provide a toll-free telephone number that Californians can call in order to receive information on physician-assisted suicide. It will now move to the Appropriations Committee.
Expansion Begins Before New Law Takes Effect
Without fanfare or announcement, Governor Brown’s proposed 2016 Budget recommends $2.3 million dollars to allow California to purchase lethal drugs for Medi-Cal patients who want their physician to help them commit suicide.
Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on the close of the legislature’s special session and three months before the onset of physician-assisted suicide in California.
“In a few months, California will allow physicians to intentionally and legally assist people in committing suicide. This fundamental change in the doctor-patient relationship will have long range repercussions for the people of California – especially those who are most vulnerable.
On Oct. 5 Governor Jerry Brown signed ABx2-15 (Eggman) the so-called “End-of-Life Option Act,” authorizing physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to patients who are determined to have a terminal illness and less than six months to live.