Showing posts with label assisted suicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label assisted suicide. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Senator Blakespear Removes Bill Expanding Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Senator Catherine Blakespear has removed proposed Senate Bill 1196, seeking to expand assisted suicide and euthanasia in California, from consideration prior to its first hearing.  

"At this point, there is a reluctance from many around me to take up this discussion, and the future is unclear,” Blakespear said in a statement. “The topic, however, remains of great interest to me and to those who have supported this bill thus far.”

Senator Susan Eggman, who authored the original act in 2016, commented that pushing forward now would would create a risk of pushback. She stated:

Monday, April 15, 2024

Proposed Bill Blows the Eligibility for Assisted Suicide Wide Open

By Diane Coleman, JD, President & CEO.  (pictured here).

This letter is filed on behalf of Not Dead Yet, a national disability organization headquartered in New York with members in California. We oppose the SB 1196 amendments to the California End of Life Option Act for several reasons.

ELIGIBILITY: First and most importantly, the proposed amendments provide for a greatly expanded eligibility for receiving a lethal prescription, removing the current provision based on a “terminal” diagnosis expected to lead to a natural death within six months. The SB 1196 amendment makes millions more people eligible, people with chronic conditions and disabilities who are nowhere near the “end of life” except for their proposed eligibility for assisted suicide.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia Law Back in Effect for Now

A state appeals court has reinstated — at least for now — California's law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives.
The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside issued an immediate stay Friday putting the End of Life Option back into effect. The court also gave opponents of its decision until July 2 to file objections.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Judge Ottolia Rejects Motion to Vacate Order Invalidating Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia Law

Judge Daniel Ottolia has rejected a motion to vacate his decision overturning the deceptively named, "End of Life Options Act." The act remains null and void. For more information, click here  

Friday, May 25, 2018

Heirs Risk Forfeited Inheritance & Murder Charge If They Kill Victims Under Void Act

By Margaret  Dore, Esq.

In California, a person commits murder in the first degree via "willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing."[1] California also has "slayer statutes," providing that murderers shall not inherit from their victims. As an example, California's Probate Code states:
(a) A person who feloniously and intentionally kills the decedent is not entitled to any of the following:
(1) Any property, interest, or benefit under a will of the decedent, or a trust created by or for the benefit of the decedent or in which the decedent has an interest ...  [2] 

Judgment Entered Declaring Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia Law Unconstitutional & Prospectively Prohibiting Use

Alexandra Snyder, Esq.
Yesterday, Riverside County Judge Daniel A. Ottolia entered judgment declaring California's assisted suicide/euthanasia law void as unconstitutional. The judgment states:
The Court held the End of Life Option Act ("Act") was passed by a special session of the Legislature in violation of Article IV § 3(b) of the California Constitution because the Act is not encompassed by any "reasonable construction" of the Proclamation granting the special session the authority to legislate. The Court therefore held that the Act was void as unconstitutional.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Assisted Suicide Law is Unconstitutional; Decision Upheld by Appeals Court

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Last week, Riverside Superior Court Judge, Daniel Ottolia, overturned California's assisted suicide law when he ruled that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority [when enacting it]

California passed the state's assisted suicide law in a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session.

Judge Ottolia, held that "the End of Life Option Act [legalizing assisted suicide] does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services," and that it "is not a matter of health care funding."

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Assisted Suicide Law Ruled Unconstitutional

NAPA, Calif.,  Life Legal  — A California judge overturned the state’s assisted suicide law this morning, ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act.

The Act’s sponsors introduced the bill in a special session of the legislature convened by Governor Jerry Brown to address Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the disabled, and in-home health support services.

Friday, October 21, 2016

"If Dr. Stevens had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead"

Jeanette Hall and her son, Scott, in November 2000
By Jeanette Hall

I live in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. Our law passed in 1997 by a ballot measure that I voted for.

In 2000, I was diagnosed with cancer and told that I had 6 months to a year to live.  I knew that our law had passed, but I didn’t know exactly how to go about doing it. I tried to ask my doctor, Kenneth Stevens MD, but he didn’t really answer me. In hindsight, he was stalling me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lawsuit Filed to Stop California Assisted Suicide Law!

The Life Legal Defense Foundation filed a lawsuit today challenging California's assisted suicide law.

The civil rights lawsuit alleges Equal Protection violations of individuals labeled terminally ill and was filed by five doctor and by the American Academy of Medical Ethics (AAME),
 
The Act decriminalizes physician-assisted suicide and instantly removes criminal law, elder abuse, and mental-health legal protections from any individual labeled terminally ill.  By contrast, non-labeled Californians have legal protection that makes it a felony to aid, advise, or encourage another to commit suicide.

The lawsuit asks the court to uphold civil and criminal laws that should apply equally to all Californians, including laws that protect people from self-harm and elder abuse laws.

To see a copy of the plaintiffs' application for a temporary restraining order, click here.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Choice is an Illusion News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 2015

Contact: Margaret Dore, Esq.
206-697-1217

To view pdf, click here

San Francisco, CA -- Opponents of the assisted suicide bill on Governor Jerry Brown's desk spoke out at a San Francisco news conference today to expose how AB2X-15 encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives and is a recipe for elder abuse, in which "qualifying" individuals may be legally murdered for their money.

"The bill is sold as giving people an 'end of life option,'" said Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, a national expert on assisted suicide and euthanasia, who spoke at the San Francisco news conference led by Bay Area political leader Frank Lee.  "The bill is instead about ending the lives of people who aren't necessarily dying anytime soon, and giving other people the 'option' to hurry them along.  Governor Brown should veto this bill, which fails to assure choice and opens the door to lethal abuse."

The bill applies to people with a "terminal disease," which is defined as having a medical prognosis of less than six months to live. "Such persons can, in fact, have years to live," said Dore. "The more obvious reasons are misdiagnosis and the fact that predicting life expectancy is not an exact science. Doctors can sometimes be very wrong."

ABX2-15 is based on laws in Oregon and Washington State. "In Oregon, which has nearly identical terminal disease criteria, 'eligible' persons include young adults with chronic conditions such as insulin-dependent diabetes," Dore said. "Such persons, with appropriate medical care, can have years, even decades, to live."

Dore, an attorney in Washington State, explained "In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs)." Dore elaborated, "And it didn't have to be that much money. The middle class and the poor were also victims."

"The Oregon and Washington laws were enacted by ballot measures in which voters were promised that 'only' the patient would be allowed to self-administer the lethal dose. The Oregon and Washington laws don't say that anywhere --and the California bill is just as bad," said Dore. "These laws create the perfect crime. Your heir can help sign you up, and once the lethal dose is in the home, there is no oversight over administration. If you resisted, who would know?"

"Another way to look at it," Dore said, "is that these laws allow two people to be present at the death. One leaves alive and the other leaves dead, and the one that leaves alive is allowed to inherit from the dead person. What happened?"

Dore concluded, "ABX2-15 creates the perfect crime."

For documentation, see:

1.  Dore memo to Governor Jerry Brown.  To view memo attachments, click here.
2.  Margaret Dore, " Why ABX2-15 Must be Vetoed," Choice Illusion, September 20, 2015, and
3.  Margaret K. Dore, "' Death with Dignity': What Do We Advise Our Clients?," King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin, May 2009,

   - 00 -

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Why ABX2-15 Must be Vetoed

ABX2-15 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. The bill is a recipe for elder abuse in which a "qualifying" individual may be legally murdered for the money.  For more detail, see this memorandum and its attachments.  

KEY POINTS

1. ABX2-15 applies to people with a "terminal disease," which is defined as having a medical prognosis of less than six months to live. (Memo, p.9). Such persons can, in fact, have years, even decades, to live. The more obvious reasons being misdiagnosis and the fact that predicting life expectancy is not an exact science. (Id., pp. 11-12). Doctors can sometimes be widely wrong. (Id.).

2. In Oregon, which has a nearly identical definition of “terminal disease,” eligible persons include young adults with chronic conditions such as insulin dependent diabetes. (Memo, p. 9-11). Such persons, with appropriate medical care, can have years, even decades, to live. 

3. ABX2-15 allows the patient's heir, who will financially benefit from his/her death, to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose. (Memo, p. 7). This is an extreme conflict of interest.

4. Once the lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy, there is no oversight. Not even a witness is required when the lethal dose is administered. If the patient protested or even struggled against administration, who would know? (Memo, pp. 8-9).

5. Assisted suicide can be traumatic for family members as well as patients. (Memo., pp. 12-13)

6. If California follows Washington State, the death certificate is required to be falsified to reflect a natural death. (Memo, pp. 16-18). The significance is a lack of transparency and an inability to prosecute for murder even in a case of outright murder for the money. Id. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Contact the Governor now to stop assisted suicide/euthanasia.

Outright Lies to Trusting Legislators Gets California Bill to Governor's Desk.  Tell Jerry Brown to Veto ABX2-15 Now!

  • Call 916-445-2841!
  • Fax 916-558-3160 
  • Use this form to send an e-mail to Governor Brown:  https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php  (US Mail will be too slow)

On Friday, September 11th, ABX2-15 passed the Senate just weeks after its initial introduction during a special session called for another purpose. During its short and expedited life, proponents ran roughshod on the facts to induce busy legislators to vote yes. This was evident during the final floor debate in the Senate where proponents repeatedly stated or implied the following, which are not true:

1.  That the bill is limited to people who are actively dying and in pain. The bill doesn't say this anywhere. The bill, instead, applies to people with a "terminal disease" defined as having a prediction of less than six months to live. (Memo, pp.9 -12). Such persons can, in fact, have years, even decades, to live.  (Id.) In Oregon, which has a nearly identical definition, "eligible" persons include young adults with chronic conditions such as insulin dependent diabetes. (Id).

2.  That the bill is "one of the strongest bills regarding patient protections." The bill, however, doesn't even require a witness when the lethal dose is administered.[1] If the patient protested or struggled, who would know?[2] In addition, the bill's various legal "requirements" are not actually "required." This is because participants are merely held to a "good faith" standard.[3] This standard is not defined in the bill, but common meanings include that participants need not comply with legal technicalities when they have honest intent.  See, for example, this legal dictionary definition:
[Good faith means] honest intent to act without taking an unfair advantage over another person or to fufill a promise to act, even when some legal technicality is not fulfilled.  (Emphasis added).[4] 
For these and other reasons, tell Jerry Brown to veto ABX2-15. For more information, see: Dore letter discussing why the Baker amendments did not fix the bill's problemsDore memo why the financial cost of ABX2-15 could be "enormous"; and a formal memo regarding the bill generally, including "key points," an index, a formal memo and an appendix.

* * *
[1]  See ABX2-15 in its entirety.
[2]  Id.
[3]  ABX2-15, Sections 443.19(d), 443.14(b), 443.14(d)(1) and 443.15(c).
[4]  "Hill" citation at http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/good+faith

Friday, September 11, 2015

Governor Brown must veto assisted suicide legislation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                           

September 11, 2015       

Contact: Margaret Dore
206-697-1217

Sacramento, CA -- In light of today's final passage of assisted suicide legislation by the California State Senate, a national expert on assisted suicide and euthanasia made the following comments.

"The legislation passed today is a wolf in sheep's clothing," said Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusionregarding ABX2-15, which seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide (and euthanasia) in California. "The bill is deceptively written to make it look as if there are substantial patient protections; there are not. The bill is sold as giving people choice and control at the end of life: Instead, it's stacked against the patient and applies to people with years, even decades, to live."

"In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs)," Dore explained. "ABX2-15 sets up the perfect crime: your heir can actively participate in signing you up for the lethal dose and once the lethal dose is in the home, there's no oversight --not even a witness is required. If you resisted or even struggled, who would know?"

Dore concluded, "The ball is now in the governor's court to protect the people of California by vetoing ABX2-15. As a lawyer and a former attorney general, Jerry Brown has the expertise to see the bill for what it really is.  He has all the right reasons to veto this deceptive and unsafe legislation.

For documentation, see www.choiceillusion.org and www.californiaagainstassistedsuicide.org

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Assisted Suicide Bill Narrowly Passes Assembly.

NEWS RELEASE

For the original print version, please click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2015

Contact: Margaret Dore
206-697-1217

Sacramento, CA – In light of today’s narrow passage of assisted suicide legislation by the California State Assembly, a national expert on assisted suicide and euthanasia points out a fundamental flaw with today’s floor debate.

“The assemblymembers didn’t focus on the bill’s language,” said Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, regarding ABX2-15, which is modeled on similar laws in Oregon and Washington State.  "The bill is sold as giving people choice and control at the end of life. Yet the bill’s language is stacked against the patient and applies to people with years, even decades, to live.”


“The bill applies to people with a ‘terminal disease,’ which is defined as having less than six months to live.  Most people thinks this means ‘dying,’” Dore said.  "However, in Oregon, which uses a nearly-identical definition of terminal disease, an 18-year-old with insulin-dependent diabetes is ‘eligible’ for assisted suicide.  Doctors are often wrong at predicting life expectancy.  Sadly, this bill encourages people with years, even decades, to live to throw away their lives.”

“In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs),” Dore explained.  “The California bill sets up the perfect crime: your heir can actively participate in signing you up for the lethal dose and once the lethal dose is in the home, there’s no oversight --not even a witness is required. If you resisted or struggled, who would know?"

“The Assembly got caught up in the concept of the bill, when the devil was in the details of the bill text,” Dore said.  “Hopefully, when it goes to the Senate, there will be a closer examination of the text and the raft of problems in the bill. Governor Brown should ready his veto pen for this deceptive legislation.”

For documentation, see www.choiceillusion.org and www.californiaagainstassistedsuicide.org

"Baker" Amendments Unenforceable. Bill Still Allows Non-voluntary and Involuntary Patient Killing Behind Closed Doors.

To view a pdf version, please click here.
September 7, 2015

Dear Assemblymembers:

On September 3, 2015, ABX2-15 was amended at the request of Assemblymember Baker with the goal of assuring voluntary patient consent to administration of the lethal dose. The amendments create a “final attestation form” and two new felonies. The amendments, while well meaning, do not achieve their intended goal.  Indeed, ABX2-15 still allows non-voluntary and involuntary patient killing behind closed doors.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Financial Cost of ABX2-15 Could Be "Enormous."

Below please find a memo submitted to the California Assembly Finance Committee by Margaret Dore, Esq., on September 3, 2015. To view the original document as a pdf, please click here.
_________

I.  INTRODUCTION

ABX2-15 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California. In Oregon, which has a similar law, government reports show an increase in other (conventional) suicides and suicide attempts, the financial cost of which is “enormous.”

If California enacts ABX2-15, the financial cost could also be “enormous.”  ABX2-15 should be rejected.

II.  DISCUSSION

A.  In Oregon, Other (Conventional) Suicides Have Increased with the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide.

In Oregon, physician-assisted suicide has been legal for 17 years.[1] According to the Oregon Health Authority, the number of physician-assisted suicides has been small, but is steadily increasing.[2] This increase is statistically correlated with an increase in other (conventional) suicides.  Consider the following:
∙Oregon's assisted suicide act went into effect “in late 1997.”[3]
∙By 2000, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was "increasing significantly."[4]
∙By 2007, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was 35% above the national average.[5]
∙By 2010, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was 41% above the national average.[6]
This documented increase in conventional suicides, correlated with a steady increase in physician-assisted suicides, is consistent with a suicide contagion in which the legalization of physician-assisted suicide has encouraged other suicides.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ABX2-15 Talking Points

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

INTRODUCTION

On August 17, 2015, proponents unveiled Bill No. ABX2-15, which seeks to legalize "aid in dying," a term that means assisted suicide and euthanasia.

"Assisted suicide" means that a person assists another person's suicide.  If a physician is involved, the practice may be called "physician-assisted suicide." "Euthanasia" means the direct administration of a lethal agent with the intent to cause another person's death.

ABX2-15, is in substance an old bill (SB 128) that failed due to a lack of support. A detailed analysis of ABX2-15 can be viewed by clicking here and  here.

TALKING POINTS

1.  ABX2-15 Is a Recipe for Elder Abuse. 
  • The patient's heir, who will financially benefit from his/her death, is allowed to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose. See memo, p. 6. This fact alone does not meet the "stink test."

HTML Version: Vote "NO" on ABX2-15.

Below, find an html version of Margaret Dore's legal/policy memo opposing ABX2-15. To view the original memo, click here.  If the memo is too large for your computer, click here and here to view it as two smaller documents.

MEMORANDUM

TO THE CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY

VOTE "NO" ON ABX2-15.  (NO ASSISTED SUICIDE)

UPDATED AUGUST 26, 2015

* * *

OVERVIEW

ABX2-15, the “End of Life Option Act,” seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California is a recipe for elder abuse. The bill is not limited to people who are dying. Indeed, “eligible” persons can have years, even decades, to live.

In Oregon, which has a similar law, that state’s Medicaid program uses coverage incentives to steer people to suicide. If ABX2-15 is enacted, California’s Medicaid program, as well as private insurers, will be able to engage in this same conduct. Do you want this to happen to you or your family?

The bill has a myriad of other problems.  Please vote “No” on ABX2-15.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Updated Materials Against ABX2-15

To view a new materials against ABX2-15, click here and here for a memo and its appendix as separate documents.

Overview 

ABX2-15, the “End of Life Option Act,” seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California is a recipe for elder abuse.  The bill is not limited to people who are dying.  Indeed, “eligible” persons can have years, even decades, to live.

In Oregon, which has a similar law, that state’s Medicaid program uses coverage incentives to steer people to suicide.  If ABX2-15 is enacted, California’s Medicaid program, as well as private insurers, will be able to engage in this same conduct.  Do you want this to happen to you or your family?

The bill has a myriad of other problems.  Please vote “No” on ABX2-15.