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Saturday, January 22, 2022

California Assisted Death Law Blocking Lawsuit Ended

DON THOMPSON | Associated Press

SACRAMENTO – The Court of Appeals has officially ended a lawsuit that in 2018 temporarily suspended California’s law allowing adults to get prescriptions for life-threatening drugs – a gap that supporters blamed Thursday for dramatically reducing its use this year.

California lawmakers made the lawsuit controversial last month when they re-authorized and extended the law until 2031, while simultaneously reducing the time until incurable patients, predicted with six months or less left, can choose to receive deadly drugs.

The number of terminally ill Californians receiving prescriptions in 2018 was 452, down 22% from the previous year, when 577 people were receiving lethal drugs, and this number increased to 618 in 2019.

Last year 667 people received the recipes. Every year, not everyone who received drugs used them to commit suicide.

Compassion & Choices, a national advocate for the law, blamed risk mitigation three years ago in a Riverside County judge’s May 2018 ruling that state legislators acted unconstitutionally when they passed the law during a special session on public health in 2016. …

The removal of Supreme Court Justice Daniel Ottolia came about three weeks before the appellate court reinstated the law.

But at the time, the advocacy group said the decision interrupted plans for some 200 patients who had already begun the process, causing confusion and fear among doctors and patients alike about the violation of the law.

Another Riverside County judge ruled last year that lawmakers did indeed act in due course and that the doctors who filed the lawsuit to block it lacked the legal rights to appeal. But the court allowed opponents to resubmit their complaint if they can find patients to join the lawsuit.

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Both sides agreed late last week that the recent re-authorization and extension of the law by the Legislature, which will expire in another five years, effectively put an end to the legal problem. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the parties in a one-paragraph order on Monday without comment.

Effective January 1, under the new law, the waiting period required between times when a patient makes individual oral requests for medication will drop to 48 hours from the current minimum of 15 days.

The revised law also removes the requirement for patients to give final written testimonies within 48 hours of taking the medication.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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