Tuesday, November 16, 2021
California Aid-in-Dying Litigation Ended
Yesterday, I pointed out to you an article about how state residency requirements limit those from accessing aid in dying. Today, I wanted to update you on litigation that had been filed some time ago against the California aid-in-dying statute. The AP ran a story noting the Lawsuit briefly blocking California assisted death law ends.
An appeals court ... formally ended a lawsuit that in 2018 temporarily suspended a California law that allows adults to obtain prescriptions for life-ending drugs, a gap that advocates blamed Thursday for a significant drop in its use that year.
California lawmakers made the lawsuit moot last month when they reauthorized and extended the law until 2031 while reducing the time until terminal patients projected to have six months or less to live can choose to be given fatal drugs.
The controversy started when "a ... judge... [ruled]in May 2018 that state legislators acted unconstitutionally when they passed the law during a special session that was devoted to health care in 2016."
A different ... judge last year ruled that lawmakers in fact did act properly and that physicians who sued to block it lacked legal standing to file the challenge. But the court allowed the opponents to refile their complaint if they could find patients to join the lawsuit.
Late last week the two sides agreed that the Legislature’s recent reauthorization and extension of the law, which had been set to sunset in another five years, effectively ended the legal challenge.
The law was also revised as part of the reauthorization, including shortening "the waiting period required between the time a patient makes separate oral requests for medication ...to 48 hours, down from the current minimum 15 days [as well as] eliminat[ing] the requirement that patients make final written attestations within 48 hours of taking the medication."