Tuesday, May 22, 2018

California AG appeals court decision that assisted suicide law is unconstitutional

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last week, a California judge overturned the state’s assisted suicide law ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act.
The Act’s sponsors introduced the bill in a special session of the legislature convened by Governor Jerry Brown to address Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the disabled, and in-home health support services.

Attorneys successfully argued, in the court, that the End of Life Option Act is not related or even incidental to the stated purpose of the special session.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia agreed, holding that “the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”
California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed an appeal of the decision to the 4th District Court of Appeal. The LA Times reported that the appeal stated:
"The enactment fell within the scope of the special session called, in part, to consider efforts to 'improve the efficiency and efficacy of the health care system ... and improve the health of Californians,' " 
"As the Governor indicated, the Act deals with pain, suffering, and the comfort of having the health care options afforded by the Act."
Judge Ottolia struck down California's assisted suicide law based on its unconstitutional implementation. The California's assisted suicide law should have been rejected because the law discriminates against people at the most vulnerable time of their life, by giving doctors, the right in law, to assist with killing patients when they require care and not lethal drugs.

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