October 6, 2015
NEW AND IMPORTANT LEGISLATION
Governor Brown signed the “End of Life Option Act” on October 5, 2015. The Bill, codified as Health and Safety Code Sections 443 et seq., authorizes an adult who meets certain qualifications, and who has been determined by his or her attending physician to be suffering from a terminal disease, to make a request for a drug prescribed for the purpose of ending his or her life. By signing this bill, the Governor brings to a close a hotly contested 10 month debate over whether physician-assisted suicide should be permitted in California.
NPR reports, “[t]he new law requires two doctors to determine that a patient has six months or less to live before the lethal drugs can be prescribed. Patients also must be physically able to swallow the medication themselves and must have the mental capacity to make medical decisions.”
The Legislation will not take effect until early 2016. California will then become the fifth state to allow physician-assisted suicide.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have regarding this new legislation and/or your estate plan.
Thank You, McDowall Cotter, APC