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The End of Life Option Act took effect June 9, 2016, but our work didn’t stop with enactment. Compassion & Choices has been on the ground working to implement the law by ensuring access for terminally ill residents, and working to educate healthcare providers about the end-of-life option — all while fighting legal challenges to the law.

If you’re a terminally ill Californian who would like to access the law, use our new Find Care tool to locate a health care team that will honor your end-of-life values.

History

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.

Compassion & Choices’ bilingual California Access Campaign continues to be instrumental in implementing the law and has already seen major successes since launching.

Contact:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-247-7421

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