Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Judge strikes down California's assisted suicide law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Judge Daniel Ottolia, of the Riverside County Superior Court, struck down California's assisted suicide law. Justice Ottolia agreed that the state legislature violated the state constitution by passing the assisted suicide law during a special session that was limited to healthcare issues.

Harris Meyer reporting for Modern Healthcare news stated:
Two groups and several physicians opposed to physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients had filed the suit to block the 2016 law, the California End of Life Option Act. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia issued an oral ruling saying the Legislature acted illegally in passing the law.

He gave the state attorney general five days to file an emergency petition to stay his order while the ruling is appealed.
Alexandra Snyder, with Life Legal Defense was also arguing that the assisted suicide law violates the right to equal protection under the law. Meyer reported:
...the California assisted-suicide law violates state equal protection provisions because people who are deemed terminally ill lose critical legal protections. Normally when there is a suspected suicide, authorities investigate the cause of death to see if the person was coerced, she said.

"But that doesn't happen when someone requests aid in dying," Snyder said. "Then everything is considered above board and the doctors were acting in perfect faith. That's simply not true. The law doesn't provide adequate safeguards, and it doesn't require any mental health evaluation."
It is tragic that the legal system moves so slow. This case was launched when the assisted suicide law came into effect and yet it took nearly two years to have this case heard by the court.

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