California

Current Status

California’s physician-assisted dying law, ABX2-15 (AB-15), the End of Life Option Act, took effect on June 9, 2016.

In the meantime, a group of anti-choice doctors filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the Act’s implementation. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottoliaat a hearing in late August 2016 denied the request by a group of doctors for an injunction to stop the new law from taking effect. However, the plaintiffs have filed an appeal in their attempt to block California’s new Death with Dignity law. Learn more here →

In the 2016 session, we proposed a bill that would have created a toll-free telephone line, operated by the California Department of Public Health, providing unbiased information to Californians about their rights and responsibilities under the new End of Life Option Act. SB 1002, the End of Life Option Telephone Number, passed out of the Senate Committee on Health on March 30, 2016, 5 to 2, but then got voted down in the Appropriations Committee. Instead, the California Department of Public Health features all pertinent information on its website.

History

The California law came after 25 years of effort. Death with Dignity Political Fund has provided strategic support for the effort in California.

State Senators Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Lois Wolk (D-Davis) introduced SB 128, End of Life Option Act, on January 21, 2015. The bill sailed through the Senate but was pulled from consideration in the Assembly due to insufficient support. Assembly Members Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), and several others introduced an amended version of SB 128, in an extraordinary legislative session dedicated to healthcare. Both the Assembly and the Senate approved the bill in September, on a 42 to 33 and 23 to 14 vote, respectively.

Governor Brown signed the bill on October 5. The California End of Life Option Act closely follows the model of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act with some modifications, most of which are required to comply with the California statute.

Resources

Events

Are you the organizer or do you know of a related event in California? Email us with details (event title, description, date/time, location, contact or link for more information or to register) and we’ll list it here.

Learn More About the End of Life Option Act

Yes, Please

Visit California Death with Dignity

A project of the Death with Dignity National Center, California Death with Dignity provides information and education about the California End of Life Option Act.

Join the Death with Dignity Movement

Sign Up

7 in 10 Americans Support Death with Dignity—Join Us!

We're a growing movement that works to ensure terminally ill Americans have the freedom to choose from a full range of end-of-life options, including how they die. Sign up to get Death with Dignity's latest news, information, and action alerts.

Share Your Story

Write Now

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?