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Right to Know Act passes California Senate

The California Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act (AB 2747) passed today in the California Senate, marking a national precedent for end-of-life care.

The California Assembly approved the bill in May.

The Right to Know Act requires that when terminally ill patients ask about options at the end of life their physician must either offer a comprehensive, accurate discussion of all legal end-of-life care options or refer the patient to someone who will.

“This bill serves as a national model for patients to receive the necessary information and power to influence the manner of death,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion and Choices, the sponsor of the measure. “It shifts physician/patient communication from a paternalistic model to a cooperative one. A ‘doctor knows best’ approach, or pat on the knee is no longer appropriate for many patients. A duty to share information enables patients to work with their doctors to determine the option that matches their values and desires.”

The bill receives support from a slew of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Medical Association and the National Association of Social Workers.

It will now go to the governor’s office for signature.