13-Step Process to Obtain Medical Aid in Dying in California
- Patient makes an appointment with their doctor.
- Patient makes their first oral request for medical aid in dying. If doctor denies request, they must document the patient’s request the patient’s medical record.
- Patient is referred to a consulting physician for confirmation of diagnosis, prognosis and mental competence.
- Patient advised to inform family/next kin of the prescription request.
- Patient must wait at least 48 hours between oral requests.
- Attending physician evaluates the patient to determine their eligibility for medical aid in dying, namely, that the adult patient:
- Has a qualifying diagnosis and prognosis
- Has proof of state residency
- Is capable of making their own healthcare decisions (physicians may refer patient for mental health evaluation, as needed)
- Is making a voluntary request
- Is making an informed decision and has been notified of all end-of-life options
- Patient makes second oral request to the doctor.
- Patient given opportunity to rescind the prescription request.
- Patient finds two qualified witnesses to sign their written request.
- Patient signs written request and gives it to their doctor.
- Patient counseled to avoid taking the medication when alone or in a public place.
- Attending physician writes prescription.
- Pharmacist fills prescription. (This sometimes takes an additional 7-14 days)