Update: California’s End of Life Options Act

The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside issued an immediate stay as of Friday, June 15th, which essentially puts California’s right-to-die-law for terminally ill patients back into effect.

Just three short weeks ago, a Riverside County Superior Court judge had declared the law unconstitutional based upon the manner which the legislation was passed in a special session in 2015.  The judge did not address the issue as to whether people should be allowed to end their lives.

While the opponents of the latest decision by the CA Appeals Court has until July 2nd to file objections, for the present time, terminally ill Californians with six months or less to live once again have the right to end their respective lives should they choose this option, of course, subject to adhering to the parameters of this law.

As I shared in my previous post on this controversial matter, other states that have Death with Dignity statutes in place include Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

In Montana, there is the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act which allows a terminally ill patient, at least 18 years of age and deemed to be mentally competent, to self-administer doctor prescribed medication. Unlike the other states, where death with dignity statutes were passed through voter referendum or through legislation, in Montana, the right for a terminally-ill patient to use prescribed life-ending medications was through a court case in 2009.

The State of Hawaii passed a Death with Dignity statute in 2018 and will go into effect on January 1, 2019. The District of Columbia also has a statute in place as well.

While I certainly respect the views of those who oppose Death with Dignity statutes or acts, sometimes referred to as “assisted suicide” or “right to die” initiatives, based upon my personal experiences as a caregiver for five terminally ill loved ones over a 20-year period, if such options were available in California during their respective final life journeys, we would have at least discussed this as a possible option. Objectively speaking and from a position of compassion, I witnessed the occurrence of medical conditions that resulted in pain that was well beyond our ability to ensure daily quality of life with any pain medications.

As I have also previously stated, I can certainly appreciate and respect the position of those with concerns about possible abuses of such options for terminally-ill patients.

Hugs to one and all!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

The following is a link to the latest status of the California statute:


~D. Toru White~

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