What is the End of Life Option Act?
Governor Jerry Brown introduced legislature through a special meeting of the California Congress to enact the end of life option act. The Act going into effect June 9, 2016, will allow a person that has been diagnosed with a terminal illness with six months to live to end their life. The patient must also have two doctors agree that the person has six months or less to live before prescribing the medication. The patient must be able to swallow the medication and give written notice 48 hours prior to taking the drugs. The patient must also meet with one of the prescribing Doctors one on one to determine the patient is acting independently and not being influenced by outside forces.
California will become the Fifth State to enact similar legislation along with Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Montana. This is a significant victory for groups like Death with Dignity that played the leading role in getting this legislation through.
Terminally Ill patients and their families have been fighting for this legislation for a long time. Advocates against the bill include religious and disability advocates that see many dangers in allowing this type of treatment to proceed in such a very over worked Healthcare state where the likelihood of abuse is present.
Will My Advanced Health Care Directive Change to include an End of Life Option?
The Bill specifically negates the AHCD:
(c) A request for a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug under this part shall be made solely and directly by the individual diagnosed with the terminal disease and shall not be made on behalf of the patient, including, but not limited to, through a power of attorney, an advance health care directive, a conservator, health care agent, surrogate, or any other legally recognized health care decision maker.