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California

CURRENT STATUS: ENACTED

About

California’s End of Life Option Act passed in 2016. The law took effect on June 9, 2016.

Resources

Our Partner: End of Life Choices California

Timeline of Death with Dignity in California

2021

2021

Amendment passes to eliminate barriers to access. Court case dismissed.

Ahn v. Hestrin, the 2016 lawsuit that briefly suspended the California End of Life Option Act in 2018, is dropped.

Senator Susan Eggman (D) introduces an amendment to California’s law, End of Life, SB380. Effective beginning January 1, 2022, the amendment:

  • Reduces the waiting period between the 1st and 2nd oral request from 15 days to 48 hours;
  • Eliminates the final attestation form;
  • Requires physicians who cannot or will not support patient requests to tell the patient they will not support them, document the patient’s request and provider’s notice of rejection in the patient’s medical record, and transfer the relevant medical record upon request;
  • Prohibits a health care provider or health care entity from engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive practices relating to their willingness to qualify an individual or provide a prescription for an aid-in-dying medication to a qualified individual;
  • Requires health care entities to post their current policy regarding medical aid in dying on their internet website;
  • Extends the law’s repeal clause to January 1, 2031.

2020

2020

A January ruling by the Riverside County Superior Court confirms plaintiffs in the 2016 lawsuit challenging the End of Life Option Act lack standing and that the law was passed in the state legislature appropriately.

2018

2018

The California Legislature approves and Governor Brown signs AB282, 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.”

2016

2016

A lawsuit is filed by opposition to challenge the  California End of Life Option Act.

2015

2015

Governor signs End of Life Options Act

Governor Jerry Brown signs ABX2-15, the End of Life Option Act, into law.

An August poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies shows 76 percent of Californians support Death with Dignity legislation in their state, while a Stanford University poll shows 72.5 percent of Californians support the then-proposed law. The California Medical Society changes its position on the then-proposed law from opposed to neutral.