It was only yesterday that we celebrated California’s new End of Life Option Act taking effect. Californians joined the residents of Oregon, Washington, and Vermont in having the option, should they be terminally ill with less than 6 months to live, to end their lives in a humane and dignified manner.
We expected what would happen next but it’s an outrage nonetheless: a group of physicians backed by anti-choice groups filed a lawsuit to stop the implementation of the new law.
Here they go again.
The plaintiffs are not merely doctors opposed to aid-in-dying—they are red-meat political operatives with a religious radical right agenda targeting LGBT Americans, a woman’s right to choose, and Death with Dignity.
We had expected the opponents of assisted dying in California would attempt to deny terminally ill patients access to expanded options at end-of-life. The good news is: We have beaten back similar lawsuit by opponents of Death with Dignity in both state and federal courts, which rejected all of these challenges. The Riverside County court should do the same.
Participation in the law is voluntary. Physicians may refuse to take part for any reason. That includes the doctors who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. If they wish not to participate, they are free to do so, but they should not deny the right to use the law to others.
We are dedicated to bringing the option of Death with Dignity to eligible terminally ill patients everywhere. We were a leading force in the defense of Oregon’s law, all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Having been implemented safely and flawlessly, the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont laws continue to provide peace of mind to terminally ill patients. With your support, we will make sure the California law will do the same.
Thank you for helping to make Death with Dignity real for all Americans.