Are Doctors Really Free To Practice Medicine As They Determine?
Senate Bill 380 was passed by the Legislature and on October 5th Governor Newsom signed it into law. It became effective on January 1, 2022.
SB 380 amends the End of Life Option Act which was passed in 2015. This law legalized assisted suicide. Under this bill terminally ill patients who want to end their life must make
two oral requests of lethal medications at least 15 days apart. They must also make requests in writing and must confirm their intention to die by signing a form 48 hours before self-ingesting the medications to die.
Senate Bill 380 reduces the 15 days to 2 days and eliminates the written request and the final attestation among others.
Dr. Leslee Cochrane states that as a hospice physician who has dealt with thousands of terminally ill patients there is no legitimate medical reason to help patients commit suicide to relieve their pain, as their conditions can change in a short period of time. Patients should never be making life-ending decisions in a state of distress like they would be if their pain is not well controlled.
The new law requires physicians to document patients’ requests to end their life and to forward that documentation to another doctor if the initial physician is unwilling to prescribe life ending medications.
Dr. Cochrane states that he is being forced and coopted into recommending or participating in a law that he strongly opposes. He may lose his doctor’s license if he refuses to do so under the newly amended law.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is the legal organization representing the plaintiffs who do not want to participate in this law.
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia all allow assisted suicide although they call it medical aid in dying or death with dignity.
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