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Amicus Brief Refutes California Opponents’ Outlandish Claim

August 3, 2018

Death with Dignity National Center has submitted an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief to the California Fourth District Court of Appeal in support of the End of Life Option Act to counter the outlandish claim of our opponents that death with dignity isn’t healthcare.

Our amicus brief presents a thorough argument that death with dignity and healthcare are inextricably bound. This is the argument in a nutshell:

  1. Healthcare includes end-of-life care. End-of-life care, in turn, includes death with dignity as an end-of-life option, which complements palliative care, hospice care, and other options of last resort.
  2. The California End of Life Option Act relates to healthcare by requiring a medical diagnosis, a patient-physician relationship, a second medical opinion, a patient’s informed consent, and health-related regulatory oversight.
  3. The Act provides relief, comfort, and control to terminally ill Californians whether they take the prescribed medication or not.

It’s ironic that a process guided by dying patients working with their physicians as they enter the final stages of life wouldn’t be considered part of healthcare, but that’s exactly what we must argue against. This lawsuit is a smokescreen our opposition created to stop dying patients from controlling their end-of-life decisions.

While the court battle in Ahn v. Hestrin continues to rage, we are doing everything we can to ensure the law stays in effect. This is what your contributions make possible.

Read the amicus brief

Death with Dignity National Center has played a leadership role in successful efforts to draft, pass, and defend death with dignity laws in several states, including California. We shared with the court our wealth of knowledge and expertise about death with dignity as an end-of-life option rooted in healthcare.

We are confident the work of the California Attorney General to protect the law, as well as our amicus brief, will suffice for the appellate court to strike down this cruel lawsuit and ensure terminally ill Californians can choose from all legal end-of-life options.

Thanks to your support, we continue to fight on behalf of the terminally ill Californians who want to use the law.

We are all friends of the court.

Featured image (Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two – Riverside) by CoolCaesar.

One comment.

Mary Hampton
February 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Feb. 4, 2019 Just received a call from Res Care a provider for VA veteran Home Based Care telling me my 84 year old Korea Was Vet spouse has no hours as of today’s Sacramento, Ca VA Hospital. VA Just stopped his care with no notification.

I am looking for help to find the court law used during the 1960s/1970s that a veteran and spouse die with dignity when the government illegally takes their care rights from them.

Years ago he wanted to die with dignity. For years we tried to get him his court ordered and legislative rights for his service and what happened to him on ship. An example would be no Aid and Attendance until 2015 and now it is being used to deny me medical coverage and blackmail to pay for care. Not his legal right to pay rent so we have a roof over our head; we are paying for handicap improvements because the VA would not issue him idea that would have allowed him discounts for those improvements. VA want my allotment? It is used for my care: I am handicapped and need help .

Spouse has to have nurse supervised care three times a week, he is bathed and groomed, etc. an end of life cared for. Res Care provides this service and the VA is to pay for it by court order and legislation until spouse dies. His prescription reads the irrigation is to be done daily but VA had it only done three times a week now it will not be done at all. This is a very painful way to see a person die!

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