The End of Life Option Act, California’s medical aid-in-dying law, took effect on June 9, 2016.
Soon after, doctors opposing the law filed a lawsuit to suspend the law. Compassion & Choices filed a friend-of-the court brief, which the court judge accepted. The case is ongoing and scheduled to be heard again in March, 2017, but that is subject to change.
Compassion & Choices has remained active in California since legislative attempts first came about, but in 2014 we launched an ambitious five-year plan to successfully pass a medical aid-in-dying law. Thanks to a young woman named Brittany Maynard who shared her experience, we were able to pass legislation in less than a year.
C & C led a multi-pronged approach: we organized our supporters to pass local resolutions and prepare for a ballot measure; we pivoted to the legislature when a bill became possible; and we filed a lawsuit asserting the right of Californians to choose medical aid in dying.
We implemented a robust field and legislative strategy: deployed staff, hired lobbyists and rallied thousands of volunteers on the ground in California. We also invested over half a million dollars into research to find out how a highly diverse state like California understands and talks about end-of-life issues, specifically aid in dying. California became an opportunity for C&C to really flesh out our strategy and our capacity as an organization. C&C’s national Spanish-language media outreach and national storyteller project were both launched as part of the CA campaign.
State Senators Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Lois Wolk (D-Davis) approached us to help pass their bill, SB 128, End of Life Option Act. Despite an intense field and lobbying effort, SB 128 was assigned to a committee with not enough support to pass that committee. C&C’s team proposed a strategy to introduce a new version of the same bill in a legislative special session, and Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) led the final push to get the new End of Life Options Act through the legislature and to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. After a briefing from C&C staff and supporters, and a request to former Archbishop Desmond Tutu to share his support, Governor Brown signed the bill into law.
The California Assembly recognized C&C’s work to pass California’s End of Life Options Act with a dedicated resolution.
The following article appeared in the SGIM Forum: 2017 In August 2016, I met a retired physician in his 80s who was dying of prostate cancer that peppered his entire skeleton, compressing his spinal cord. He had just been discharged from the hospital to the skilled nursing facility, part of the senior community where he […]Read More
Ray Perman already had his aid-in-dying medication in hand when he invited Compassion & Choices into his home in December 2016 to share the easy-to-understand process he followed to obtain the prescription and the great peace of mind it gave him just knowing it was there. He later took the medication surrounded by loved ones […]Read More
(Los Angeles, CA – 21 de Marzo de 2017) El Concejo Municipal de Los Ángeles otorgó hoy al actor mexicano Mauricio Ochmann un certificado de Honor como agradecimiento por su trabajo en beneficio de la aprobación de la ley “Opción al Final de la Vida” de California, que entró en vigor en junio del año […]Read More