At a Glance:
Compassion & Choices filed a motion to intervene on behalf of six clients — the bill’s sponsor, three people with disabilities who support the option of medical aid in dying and two physicians who participate in the practice of medical aid in dying — on September 21, 2023, in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the California End of Life Option Act (“the Act”).
A coalition of disability rights groups and two people with disabilities filed a lawsuit challenging California’s Act on April 25, 2023, arguing that it discriminates against people with disabilities. Our clients moved to intervene to protect this vital end-of-life option and defend against any attempt to block access to the Act for qualified terminally ill individuals.
In April 2023, a coalition of disability rights groups and two people with disabilities filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the recently updated California End of Life Option Act violates federal disability law and constitutional protections by encouraging people with disabilities to choose the option of medical aid in dying and not seek out alternative healthcare services and supports.
Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the state of California and other state departments and officials seeking to invalidate California’s End of Life Option Act. Their complaint alleges that the Act violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the federal constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.On September 21, 2023, Compassion & Choices, with the assistance of O’Melveny, filed a motion to intervene on behalf of:
- Compassion & Choices Action Network, sister organization to Compassion & Choices and sponsor of SB 380.
- Burt Bassler, an 87-year-old Pleasanton resident with progressive cardiac amylodosis, or stiff heart syndrome.
- Judith Coburn, a 79-year-old Berkeley resident who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer in 2019.
- Peter Sussman, an 82-year-old Berkeley resident with congenital spinal malformations, arachnoditis and severe neuropathy.
- Dr. Chandana Banerjee, a hospice and palliative care physician and associate professor at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte.
- Dr. Catherine Sonquist Forest, a family medicine physician and clinical associate professor of family medicine in Los Altos.
Our clients are moving to intervene to protect California’s End of Life Option Act. To learn more about Compassion & Choices’ work to protect and expand medical aid in dying through the courts, please visit our Medical Aid in Dying Litigation page