End of Life Option Act

On October 5, 2015, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 15 authorizing the following procedure:

The patient must be at least 18 years old and has established that he or she is a California resident.

He or she has submitted two oral requests, a minimum of 15 days apart, and a written request to his or her attending physician seeking to obtain a prescription for an aid-in-dying drug in the form prescribed by the act.

The request was signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses by the individual seeking the aid-in-dying drug and was witnessed by at least two other adult persons, who, in the presence of the individual,  attest that to the best of their knowledge and belief the individual is all of the following: (A) personally known to them or has provided proof of identity. (B) Voluntarily signed this request in their presence. (C) They believe he or she is of sound mind and not under duress, fraud, or undue influence. (D) Not an individual for whom either of them is the attending physician, consulting physician, or mental health specialist.

Only one of the two witnesses at the time the written request is signed may: (1) be related to the qualified individual by blood, marriage, registered domestic partnership, or adoption or be entitled to a portion of the individual’s estate upon death. (2) own, operate, or be employed at a health care facility where the individual is receiving medical treatment or resides.

The attending physician, consulting physician, or mental health specialist of the individual shall not be one of the witnesses.

His or her attending physican, consulting physician, psychiatrist or psychologist is of the opinion that he or she has the ability to understand the nature and consequences of a health care decision, the ability to understand its significant benefits, risks, and alternatives, and the ability to make and communicate an informed decision to health care providers.

He or she must have made an informed decision.

His or her decision must have been made after being informed by his or her attending physician of (1) His or her medical diagnosis and prognosis. (2) The potential risks associated with taking the drug to be prescribed. (3) The probable result of taking the drug to be prescribed. (4) The possibility that the individual may choose not to obtain the drug or may obtain the drug but may decide not to ingest it. (5) The feasible alternatives or additional treatment opportunities, including, but not limited to, comfort care, hospice care, palliative care, and pain control.

His or her attending physician must have directly and not through a designee offered the individual an opportunity to withdraw or rescind the request.

He or she has been determined by his or her attending physician to be suffering from an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, result in death within six months and this determination has been confirmed by the consulting physician who has examined the individual and the individual’s relevant medical records and who is independent from the attending physician and who is qualified by specialty or experience to make a professional diagnosis and prognosis regarding an individual’s terminal disease.

He or she has the physical and mental ability to self-administer the aid-in-dying drug.

He or she has made a direct and voluntary request for a drug prescribed pursuant to this act for the purpose of ending his or her life.

About randyspiro

I am a super lawyer in California with dual specialization in Estate Planning and Taxation.
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