Current Status: The End of Life Option Act Is In Effect
California’s physician-assisted dying law, ABX2-15 (AB-15), the End of Life Option Act, took effect on June 9, 2016 and is currently in effect. Patients may request and physicians may prescribe life-ending medications under the law.
The January 23 ruling by the Riverside County Superior Court confirmed the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the End of Life Option Act lack standing and that the law was passed in the state legislature appropriately.
Resources and Additional Information
About the Statute
- Full text of the California End of Life Option Act
- California Governor Jerry Brown’s signing message of ABX2-15
- California Department of Public Health
- “The Impact of Death with Dignity on Healthcare” – our white paper on the issue
About the Legal Challenge
- Riverside Superior Court’s case report for Ahn v. Hestrin
- California 4th Court of Appeal case report for Ahn v. Hestrin
- Death with Dignity’s Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Defendants and Petitioners Attorney General of the State of California
- History of the legal challenge
Resources for Patients
- End of Life Choices California – nonprofit
- “How to Access the California End of Life Option Act” – our guide for patients
- Forms for patients:
Resources for Healthcare Providers
- “Attending Physician Forms Submission Instructions” – instructions pamphlet [PDF]
- “Attending Physician’s Checklist & Compliance Form” [fillable PDF form]
- “Attending Physician’s Follow-up Form” [fillable PDF form]
- “Consulting Physician’s Compliance Form” [fillable PDF form]
- An August 2015 poll by UC Berkley’s Institute of Governmental Studies showed 76 percent of Californians support death with dignity legislation in their state.
- An October 2015 Stanford University poll showed 72.5 percent of Californians support the then-proposed law.
The California Medical Society changed its position on the then-proposed law from opposed to neutral in June 2015.
What does death with dignity mean to you?
Most people join our movement because of a heartbreaking personal experience. We receive stories of such experiences every day, and every day they inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally-ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die. We want to hear from you. What's your death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause?
History of Death with Dignity in California
In the 2018 legislative session, the California legislature approved and Governor Brown signed into law AB-282 which amends the California penal code to “prohibit a person whose actions are compliant with the End of Life Option Act from being prosecuted for deliberately aiding, advising, or encouraging suicide.”
The law was challenged in courts immediately after going into effect on June 9, 2016. While the End of Life Option Act continues to be in effect, the case is still active in the California court system.
How the End of Life Option Act Came to Be
The California law is a result of 25 years of work. Death with Dignity Political Fund has provided strategic support for the effort in California.