The law on medically assisted suicide in California has just been overturned by a Riverside County Superior Court judge. The End of Life Option Act, passed in 2015, authorised assisted suicide for terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.
Judge Daniel Ottolia held that the law was “unconstitutional” based on how it was passed, in a special legislative session on health care funding. “The court made it very clear that assisted suicide has nothing to do with increasing access to health care and that hijacking the special session to advance an unrelated agenda is impermissible”, declared the Life Legal Defence Foundation, the organisation that had supported Terri Schiavo.
Stephen Larson, lead counsel for a group of doctors who sued to stop the law, announced that he was “very satisfied” with the ruling. “The act itself was rushed through the special session of the legislature and it does not have any of the safeguards one would expect to see in a law like this”, he explained.
California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, “who strongly disagrees”, has five days to file an appeal against this ruling.
The Hill, Avery Anapol (16/05/2018)
Reuters, Dan Whitcomb (16/05/2018)