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California

Current Status: Enacted

California’s physician-assisted dying law, ABX2-15 (AB-15), the End of Life Option Act, took effect on June 9, 2016.

Find all required forms and other information on the California Department of Public Health website (scroll to bottom area to find “Provider Forms” and “Patient Forms”)

2021 Amendment

On February 11, 2021, an amendment to California’s law, End of Life, SB380, was introduced by Senator Susan Eggman (D). The amendment, if passed, will reduce the 15-day wait period to 48 hours, and if the attending physician determines a patient will die before the end of the wait period, the 48 hours may be waived. The bill adds or clarifies additional language, including eliminating the January 1, 2026 repeal clause in Section 10.

Follow using our legislative tracker or directly on the California Legislature website.



Resources and Additional Information

Our Partner

End of Life Choices California is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit offering education programs and information regarding California’s End of Life Option Act and all other legal end-of-life options to the healthcare community, hospices and the public. Trained volunteers also provide in-depth personal support and information to terminally-ill individuals and their families seeking help accessing the California law.

History of Death with Dignity in California

Statute

Implementation

Polls

Endorsements

The California Medical Society changed its position on the then-proposed law from opposed to neutral in June 2015.

In the 2018 legislative session, the California legislature approved and Governor Brown signed into law AB-282 which amends the California penal code to “prohibit a person whose actions are compliant with the End of Life Option Act from being prosecuted for deliberately aiding, advising, or encouraging suicide.”

Legal Challenges

The law was challenged in courts immediately after going into effect on June 9, 2016. A January 23, 2020 ruling by the Riverside County Superior Court confirmed the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the End of Life Option Act lack standing and that the law was passed in the state legislature appropriately.

How the End of Life Option Act Came to Be

The California law is a result of 25 years of work. Death with Dignity Political Fund has provided strategic support for the effort in California.

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What does death with dignity mean to you?

Most people join our movement because of a heartbreaking personal experience. We receive stories of such experiences every day, and every day they inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally-ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die. We want to hear from you. What's your death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause?

Personal Stories