California End of Life Option Act (EOLOA)
Changes to EOLOA as of January 1,2022
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 380 making much needed adjustments to the existing End of Life Option Act in California. The new provisions are now in effect as of January 1, 2022. Here is a summary of what is different for anyone seeking Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) in the state of California in 2022:
- The new bill reduces the waiting period between the required two oral requests to 48 hours.
- Healthcare systems and hospices now have to post their aid-in-dying policies on their websites.
- The final attestation form is no longer needed.
- When a terminally-ill patient requests MAID and their physician does not wish to participate, the physician is now required to tell the patient and must document the request and transfer the patient’s medical records upon request.
- The amendment also clarifies that MAID medication can be taken within a healthcare facility.
When the End of Life Option Act was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, and went into effect on June 9, 2016, it laid a solid foundation for all Californians to be supported in their end of life wishes. It represents a major step forward in the nationwide effort to change state laws to better reflect humane values. The new law was patterned after the country’s first ground-breaking law: Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, in effect since 1997. With the new law, California became the 7th and the largest state in the country to allow licensed physicians to legally prescribe a lethal dose of medication to decisionally-capable, terminally ill patients, 18 years or older, thoughtfully requesting medical aid-in-dying.
Eligibility Requirements to Access the Law will remain the same after Jan. 1, 2022:
- Must be 18 years or older.
- Must be of sound mind and exhibit appropriate decision-making capabilities to the attending physician.
- Must be able to self-ingest the medication either orally or by pushing through an NG tube.
- Must be diagnosed with a terminal disease, with a life expectancy of six months or less, by two physicians.
We are here to help. Our highly-trained volunteers are available to explain the current law, upcoming changes, and walk you and your family through the process from beginning to end.
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If you have questions about the law, or if you think you might be eligible, please contact one of our voluteers to assist you further.