Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Does California Senate Bill 1196 legalize euthanasia/homicide?

SB 1196 is a "Trojan horse" euthanasia bill.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2016 California legalized assisted suicide and expanded the law in 2021.

California is now debating further expansions and a change in the law to specifically "utilize" the lethal poison by IV (intravenous).

On March 8, 2024 I published an article based on the summary of the bill from Senator Blakespear, the sponsor of the bill, concerning California Senate Bill 1196

Based on the summary of SB 1196 by Senator Blakespear I stated that the bill would:

  1. Allow euthanasia by IV (intravenous), as in Canada. Currently, California permits assisted suicide (lethal poison that a person takes orally at the time and place of their own choosing, with or without witnesses). This bill allows for death by IV. This constitutes euthanasia/homicide.
  2. Change the criteria from terminally ill (6 month prognosis) to the Canadian model: “a grievous and irremediable medical condition.” Thus, there would be no time limit  and no terminal illness requirement.
  3. Allow people with early to mid-stage dementia to consent to assisted suicide or euthanasia, even though they have a condition that impairs their capacity to consent.
  4. Remove the California residency requirement. California would join Oregon and Vermont, dropping their residency requirements and allowing for suicide tourism.
  5. Remove the 48 hour waiting period between first and second request by the patient - same day death. 
  6. Remove the 2031 sunset clause in the California assisted suicide law.

I published an article on March 18, 2024, stating that the California bill would legalize medical killing. Now that the language of SB 1196 has been released I will further explain how the Bill expands medical killing in California.

The first issue is that SB 1196 would change the law from requiring ingesting of the lethal poison to utilizing the lethal poison. Utilize is not defined in the bill but it can be defined as: "to make practical and effective use of."

The second issue is that SB 1196 would change the law from requiring a terminal disease to a grievous and irremediable medical condition.

Terminal disease was based on a 6 month prognosis whereas grievous and irremediable medical condition has a long definition that essentially means that the person has a serious chronic condition that will continue to decline.

The bill states:  

For purposes of this part, a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” includes a diagnosis of early to mid-stage dementia while the individual still has the capacity to make medical decisions

How would early to mid-state dementia be defined in practise?

The next issue is that SB 1196 permits non-doctors to participate in the law. SB 1196 adds the following: nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses.

The next issue is that SB 1196 removes the residency requirement in the California law by striking out the words - is a resident of California.

The most important issue is the use of an IV (intravenous) catheter to "utilize" the poison. SB 1196 states:  

death through ingestion, or through an intravenous pathway after a health care provider places an intravenous catheter if one was not already placed, to bring about the qualified individual’s own death. 

This statement does not limit the use of the IV catheter to assisted suicide and could allow for euthanasia/homicide.

Later SB 1196, states:  

For purposes of this section, “assisting the qualified individual by preparing the aid-in-dying drug” includes a health care provider placing an intravenous catheter, so long as the health care provider does not assist the qualified individual in introducing the aid-in-dying drug into the qualified individual’s vein.

This statement infers that the person must somehow utilize the IV catheter. The IV can be placed but the health care provider cannot "assist". This is intentionally confusing. There may also be circumstances, such as ALS, where the person has difficulty "utilizing" the IV catheter without assistance.

Justice Chhabria's decision can help us clarify this situation.

On June 22, 2022, a California federal judge rejected a case designed to permit euthanasia within California's assisted suicide act. Lonny Shavelson, a doctor that solely focuses on assisting suicide and Sandra Morris, who had ALS, argued that the state's assisted suicide law discriminated against people who had difficulty self-ingesting the lethal drugs and to remedy the situation the state needed to permit euthanasia in those cases.

In that case, Shavelson argued that allowing the administration of lethal drugs by IV catheter when a person has difficulty self-administering the lethal drugs was necessary. Justice Chhabria rejected the argument:

Chhabria ruled the case could not proceed on the theory that it violates the ADA because the accommodation they seek would cross the boundary created by the End of Life Option Act, “from the ability to end your own life to the ability to have someone else end it for you.”
Chhabria further ruled:
“Such an accommodation would ‘compromise' the essential nature of the act, and would therefore fundamentally alter the program.’”

The judge said the law’s self-administration requirement is the “final safeguard” to ensure the act remains voluntary.

“A person seeking to end their life pursuant to the act can opt out at any point — after requesting or receiving the prescription, after the drugs are in their hand, after the feeding tube has been installed, after saying goodbye,” he wrote. “The accommodation that the plaintiffs seek would significantly undermine these protections by opening a window during which there would be no way of knowing whether the patient had changed their mind.”

If SB 1196 is passed it would change the California law by removing self-administer, removing the terminal illness requirement and allowing the utilization of an IV catheter, these changes would make it impossible to distinguish between an act of assisted suicide and an act of euthanasia/homicide. 

Assisted suicide is to receive lethal poison and self-administer it for the purpose of causing death.

Euthanasia is when another person, usually a medical professional, administers the lethal poison for the purpose of causing death. Euthanasia is a form of homicide/murder.

Since SB 1196 does not require a "third/independent party" to witness the act, therefore SB 1196 would enable active euthanasia under the guise of assisted suicide and achieve for the euthanasia lobby what was denied to them by Justice Chhabria in 2022.

SB 1196 is a "Trojan horse" euthanasia bill.



Some of the provisions will probably not make it into any new law.
The most important change might be allowing patients with dementia
to qualify for help in ending their lives.

Alex Schadenberg said...

I am sorry James but help in ending their lives.
These people don't need to be killed they need to be treated with respect.


If we choose our proxies carefully,
we will be treated with respect,
which could include shortening the process of dying
if that seems best to us and to our proxies.

gadfly said...

Killing someone because you're suffering watching them is the ultimate in disrespect, and the ultimate in creating a convenient society.