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VICTORY: California Court Rejects Suit to Block Medical Aid-in-Dying Law

/ August 26, 2016

We are thrilled to announce that today a Riverside Superior Court ruled that  the new medical aid-in-dying law in California can continue to give terminally ill, mentally capable people with a prognosis of six months or less another end-of-life option. Compassion & Choices was the only advocacy group to weigh in on an effort to overturn the law and we urged the court to reject the plaintiffs’ motion, submitting a friend-of-the-court brief in July. The judge ruled the case can proceed but for now, the law remains protected.

Just days after the California End of Life Option Act took effect in June, the Life Legal Defense Foundation, American Academy of Medical Ethics and some physicians filed a suit to overturn it.

Compassion & Choices’ legal team worked closely with John Kappos, a Newport Beach partner in the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, to block the injunction filed by opponents that would have also suspended the End of Life Option Act as they attempted to overturn the law.

Had the injunction been successful, it would have immediately blocked physicians from participating in medical aid in dying for the duration of the legal proceeding. The law that so many of us fought so hard for could have been nullified, and thousands of terminally ill Californians would have had their end-of-life options stripped away.

Compassion & Choices advocates have been monitoring the case closely, waiting to learn their own fate and the fates of other terminally ill Californians. For now, their access to medical aid in dying is protected until the case proceeds in December.

For more about Compassion & Choices’ campaign for the End of Life Option Act, go to