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An Update on the Legal Challenge to California End of Life Option Act

June 29, 2016

As frivolous as it may be, we are taking the lawsuit filed by anti-choice physicians to halt the implementation of the California End of Life Option Act seriously. Here’s what’s happening.

Temporary Restraining Order Rejected

Those attempting to thwart California’s new law first tried to convince the judge that implementation of the law should stop immediately. The judge denied this request and allowed implementation to continue. Opponents have thus not impeded Californians’ ability to receive prescriptions under the law. Patients we are working with have made it through the qualification process and are able to pursue a dignified death.

Hearing on an Injunction

However, as part of the legal process, the judge must schedule a hearing on the request for an injunction, which could deny Californians access to the End of Life Option Act. This hearing is scheduled for July 25, 2016.

The good news is that the California Attorney General’s office will defend the law, and they are taking this task seriously.

Having defended Oregon’s death with dignity law in both state and federal courts, we have offered our full legal support and resources to the Attorney General’s office, as well as the California Governor’s office and Senator Bill Monning. We are pleased to report that the state’s attorneys will present the best case possible in defense of California’s important law.

The even better news: We have won this argument in federal courts.

The challenges presented by our opponents have already been decided federally. California being its own governmental entity, California judges will have to address the lawsuit presented to them. The July 25 hearing is just the first in a series of battles; we are optimistic the End of Life Option Act will stand through them all.

In the unlikely event the court grants the injunction request, the Death with Dignity National Center will defend the Act side by side with the California Attorney General. We’ll know more after July 25 and keep you informed.

Will you chip in $25 to help fight this lawsuit against the California End of Life Option Act?


A Winning Record

The Death with Dignity National Center has a long history of success defending physician-assisted dying laws in both federal and state courts, often in collaboration with local partners. The courts have always supported our legal defense efforts by rejecting the due process and equal protection arguments these zealot plaintiffs are making. We’ve always won and we expect the same to happen in California.

The Oregon, Washington, and Vermont laws continue to provide peace of mind to eligible terminally ill patients. The California End of Life Option Act, too, is already providing peace of mind to dying Californians. With your support, we will make sure it will continue to do so.

Thank you for helping to expand (and defend) end-of-life options for all Americans.

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