State to defend California law allowing life-ending drugs

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Brittany Maynard garnered national attention when she and her husband packed their belongings into a U-Haul and drove 600 miles north from California to OR so she could take advantage of the state's right-to-die law and die peacefully.

Signed into law in 2015, California's End of Life Option Act went into effect in June 2016. The plaintiffs argued that the legislature had violated the state constitution by passing the law during a special session called specifically to handle matters of health care funding ― and not end-of-life issues.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday he will appeal a judge's ruling late Tuesday overturning the state's right to die law for terminally ill Californians.

Jennifer Glass, 51, who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer past year, just four months after getting married, is photographed at her home in San Mateo, Calif., on November 3, 2014, one day after Brittany Maynard ended her life in Oregon.

In January 2018, the California Catholic Conference reiterated its opposition to assisted suicide and criticized the lack of data collected and the lack of transparency of the law's implementation.

"The hope is that you don't need to utilize the medication", Diaz said.

"State-sanctioned suicide sends the message that some lives are not worth living", LLDF said in a statement.

At the hearing was Stephanie Packer, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

That seemed to conclude a 23-year effort to pass a "right-to-die" law in a state of 39 million, more than quadrupling Americans' access to life-ending drugs. "So, I said, 'Well, what about the drugs they are using for the new [assisted suicide] law?"

John C. Kappos, an attorney representing aid-in-dying advocate Compassion and Choices, said he believes the law should stand because aid in dying is a healthcare issue.

Attorneys with Life Legal Defense Foundation told LifeNews that the assisted suicide law 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.

"We strongly disagree with this ruling and the State is seeking expedited review in the Court of Appeal", Becerra said in a statement Tuesday.

Critics of assisted suicide charge the practice is not only potentially abusive, but it already is being used in place of health care.

The California law, which went into effect in 2016, allows terminally ill patients who have been given a prognosis of six months or less to live to obtain a prescription for a lethal dose of medication.

Supporters of the law say its passage was valid because end-of-life options are health care options. "But that doesn't happen when someone requests aid in dying", Snyder said.

In a letter to members of the California State Assembly discussing his decision on the bill, ABX2 15, Brown, a Democrat, explained that he didn't think it should be a crime for "a dying person to end his life". He pointed to Nevada's handling of assisted suicide bills, including one that cleared the state senate in 2017 before being defeated in a Democrat-controlled assembly committee. "Brittany was simply saying, 'I will not die that way, and I shouldn't be forced to, '" he said.

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