Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

California Assisted Death Law Overturned in Court

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-16/d8166c0f-dded-496e-87ec-dc8f8c79d616.pngThe California legislature passed the state's assisted death law in 2016 during a special session. The session was called specifically for health care funding shortages caused by Medi-Cal. A Riverside County judge on Tuesday ruled that it was improper to push through and pass the law during the special session. Those that were in the process of accumulating the life-ending drugs find themselves with, "the carpet ripped out from under their feet," according to Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, the Stockton Democrat who carried the bill.

Stephen G Larson is the lead counsel for the group of doctors that sued to stop the law, citing that, "lack of protections in the law, including an inadequate definition of terminal illness and a provision exempting doctors who prescribe the lethal drugs from liability." The group also claimed that the passing of the law during the special session was inappropriate, an argument that the judge agreed with.

Proponents of the law are optimistic, however, because the judge's ruling is not based upon the legality of physician assisted suicide. Public polls have also shown that there is a "widespread approval" of the law across California.

See Alexei Koseff, California Assisted Death Law Overturned in Court, The Sacramento Bee, May 15, 2018.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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