This law essentially enables terminally ill individuals to choose how they end their own lives instead of seeking treatment that may just minimize pain until the time comes that they pass away. This form of assisted suicide is legal in just a few states and absolves the doctor of any criminal wrongdoing, that is, as long as the patient is indeed terminally ill.
The California 4th District Court of Appeals issued a stay on Friday putting the End of Life Option back into effect. The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined that they have six months or less to live.
The law originally took effect in 2016 but a lawsuit claimed that because it was passed during a special legislative session for other issues it was not properly passed. Opponents of the law also claim it violates due process and equal protection because it fails “to make rational distinctions” between terminally ill adults “and the vast majority of Californians not covered by the act.”