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Victory in California: Challenge to the End of Life Option Act Denied

August 26, 2016

By George Eighmey, President

It wasn’t even close. Early Friday Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia denied the request for an injunction filed by a group of anti-choice physicians against the California End of Life Option Act. This means the newest Death with Dignity law remains in place and eligible terminally ill Californians can continue to assert control over how they die.

Today’s Hearing

I was at the hearing today, and the judge’s ruling was swift and decisive. The anti-choice physicians, backed by a couple of ultra-right wing groups, presented the same tired, outlandish arguments we had heard years ago in lawsuits in Oregon, Washington, and on the federal level. The judge saw right through them.

In denying the case, the judge decided that the law poses no threat to anyone, especially the doctors who filed the suit knowing full well they can opt out of the law at any time and for any reason.

We were cautiously optimistic and expecting this ruling. We had we won similar lawsuits in Oregon, Washington, and federal courts, when our opponents threatened to thwart those states’ Death with Dignity laws. The judge also rightly saw that the California law had been passed lawfully under the state constitution.

More Work to Be Done

While we count today’s ruling as a significant victory for all Californians and our movement overall, our work is not done. First, the plaintiffs will be filing an appeal. And, a similar lawsuit is pending in Vermont, where the same shadowy anti-choice group that represented the California doctors is pushing their views with local physicians. We must—and we will—continue protecting the laws you fought so hard to pass.

Will you chip in $25 today to support the legal defense of Death with Dignity laws?

Thank you for everything you do to uphold the right to die.

Photo by Jessica Wilson.

26 Comments.

Jan Grape
August 27, 2016 at 11:34 pm

The people who want to die in pain and misery and to suffer believing that’s their Christian Duty, LET THEM be the ones who have to SIGN UP for it. And leave the rest of us choose to die with Dignity.

Noel Hedrick
August 16, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Totally agree with you.

California’s End of Life Option Act of 2015: An Act of Mercy – foundations of law and society
December 5, 2016 at 2:08 pm

[…] Eighmey, P. B. (2016, August 26). Victory in California: Challenge to the End of Life Option Act Denied – Death With Dignity. Retrieved from https://www.deathwithdignity.org/news/2016/08/victory-california-challenge-end-life-option-act-denie… […]

Nancy L. Wood
June 10, 2017 at 5:41 pm

How do I find more informatin. I am dying of stage 4 lung cancer.

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
June 12, 2017 at 10:55 am

Please check your email.

Camryn Oliver-Lemmon
July 27, 2017 at 9:48 am

I can’t do this anymore. I’m dying a slow painful death.
Please help with how I go about this. I am ready now. FYI I have Lupus SLE, which thigh the doctor’s said I wouldn’t live until 50. After numerous operations, no one here knowing what septic optic dysplasia meant until 6 months ago, and finally being hit from behind and tumbling over 4 lanes of highway, breaking parts of my spiñe, etc. I can’t handle the enormous pain anymore.
Sincerely,
Cam Lemmon

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
August 3, 2017 at 9:11 am

Please check your email, Camryn, for more information.

Joanne
June 11, 2017 at 10:33 pm

What about the right to die for someone being taken down by the system makers of what mimics schizo.. I meet my ex husband in a casino. Organized crime, from Camouflage, to silencers to NASA -Eye in the Sky, Computers and FCC communications. Kundalini by Bentoz. This is Sick America. I would like to know my rights?

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
June 12, 2017 at 10:55 am

Please check your email.

Janine
July 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

I would like more information please.

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
August 3, 2017 at 9:11 am

Please check your email, Janine.

Bobbie Marks Sister
October 2, 2017 at 6:27 am

Please send me more info. My baby brother keeps saying he just wants to die with dignity and I just want to help him however I can, it’s killing me. I want a solution and I want to be part of this movement! Thank you in advance. Bobbie Marks Sister

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
October 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Please check your email.

Phil Drees
October 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Please help us find doctors in Northern California.

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
October 10, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Please check your email, Phil.

JANE
December 31, 2017 at 6:32 am

I am very interested as I believe it a choice to either suffer until the end or not. I plan on moving to Northern California before my Stage 4 liver cancer leaves me with no choices at all.

Roman
February 20, 2018 at 10:32 am

I’ve an advanced Lou Gehrig and was treated with Riousol and Radicava. But everyday that passes I’m weaker barely walk and my hands do not function anymore. Whom should I contact to pursue my rights?

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
February 20, 2018 at 10:53 am

Please check your email, Roman.

JAMES CLARK
February 21, 2018 at 7:28 am

i am so sick and tired of people who are not terminal makeing decisions for me. they are smiling and takeing pictures when all i want is the right to die in a right to die state california,i have tried and they say i have to jump through hoops and get nothing.i know doctors and hospitals want to bleed you dry then drive you to homelessness then kick you to the curb`! PLEASE CALIFORNIA LET US HAVE THE RIGHT TO DIE. EX MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER JIM CLARK WITH TERMINAL COPD!

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
February 21, 2018 at 11:45 am

The California End of Life Option Act, a law modeled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, has been in effect since June 9, 2016. Please speak with your doctor(s) about your options under the law and otherwise.

Kelley Simmons
March 28, 2018 at 6:11 pm

I suffer with one of the most painful diseases known to man and there is no cure. I think about suicide daily and have even tried it in the past. I would like more information please.

Gerda Verkaik
May 14, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Dear Kelly Simmons, I really understand you and suffer from many many many horrible side effects from ant-depressants drugs.I called these prescribed (Meds) DRUGS, because it does not do anything for your neuro-transmittors in your head!! It ONLY GIVE YOU NASTY, HORRIBLE AND PAINFULL SIDE EFFECTS! Psychiatrist will give you other meds with OTHER HORRIBLE, NASTY , PAINFULL SIDE EFFECTS ETC ETC ETC. I have been treated by psychiatrist for over 30 years and 5 years ago I started to get lost if I have to go somewhere, and at times I get into a bumper to bumper accidents because my mind started to wander off when I’m in a stop and go traffic. In july 2016 I was driving on the free-way and I ended up in Hollywood , I was in a DAZE, panick stricken, full of anxiety, and the police asked me so many questions which I could not answer. I just look at them. I was brought to the Hollywood PRESS.Hosp then to KP and for 5 days I was in -a-wake-and-sleep mode. I can not inform you enough to write up your “Advance Health Directive on paper.” I would have been better off DEAD then alive and SUFFER. I wake up every day in a DAZE, can not remember or recall any memory, I’m in a DAZE most of the day!!!! I’m still waiting untill they find anything that qualify for terminal Illness, I rather be DEAD then alive!! then suffer lots of headaches, horrible back-pains, painful to walk. I feel your pain!

ruth
April 12, 2018 at 4:33 pm

What is the status of the death with dignity law at this time. I have researched it and the hard thing is that you have to pass the hurdle of proving it is a “terminal disease” There are many diseases that do not meet the criteria “terminal”. I believe this law gives the doctor the right to prescribe a medication; however, they get tied up on the “terminal” definition. With the government’s cu rrent policy of going after the ” opioid epidimic” you have to “just suffer”. There are many patients like Kelley Simmons, who wrote to you on 3/28/2018. Do we just have to wait until these people so end their suffering by ending their life.

The Legalization of Pre-Destined Departure – A WordPress Site
May 14, 2018 at 8:54 pm

[…] topical debate has stirred a commotion amongst medical professionals in the state of California, to the extent that a group of physicians in Riverside, California petitioned the court to put the bi…. In a bid to rid the state of this controversial act, the plaintiff physicians claimed that this […]

Marissa Bunge
May 20, 2018 at 9:38 pm

I as well have Systemic Lupus, that has attacked my kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, stomach, intestines, heart and now nervous system. I also have Multiple Connective Tissue Disorder which I have lost feeling of fingers, hands, elbows, shoulders, toes, feet, ankles, knees and hips. Making my capability of walking and life a treacherous struggle. I also have Sjogrens Disorder which attacks salivary glands with excruciating unstoppable pain in the mouth, ears, neck and throat. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is crippling. Also have Osteo Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Which causes pain through out the body like a hurricane. I have had this since I was 17 years old and I’m currently bed ridden at the young age of 34 years old. I will never get married or have the opportunity to have children. I’m in so much pain, no opiod or fentanyl medication even takes the edge off. I think daily of suicide but do not want to disappoint my family by killing myself and the toll it would take on them.
How do you find out if you qualify? I know my body would sustain another 6 months but I can’t take life at this cost. What would be considered sick enough to let go a decent way?
Sickly.. Sincerely,
Marissa

Peter Korchnak, Death with Dignity
May 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Please check your email, Marissa.

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