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Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Need To Do To Prove That I Am A California Resident?

Patients must be a California resident in order to use the End of Life Option Act.  Under the law, California residency must be demonstrated through any of the following means:

(A) Possession of a California driver license or other identification issued by the State of California.

(B) Registration to vote in California.

(C) Evidence that the person owns or leases property in California.

(D) Filing of a California tax return for the most recent tax year.

How Do I Find Participating Doctors?

Currently, there is no statewide list of physicians who are participating in the End of Life Option Act. Patients interested in exploring the End of Life Option should begin by talking with their primary physician. If the primary physician is unwilling or unable to participate they should provide a referral. If they are not willing to provide a referral to another physician, the patient will need to seek a participating provider on their own.  Patients should ensure, however, that their initial request be documented in their medical record.

Several large health systems in California have said they will allow their physicians and staff to participate, but individual physicians who work for these health systems still have the option to participate or not, depending on their own beliefs. Prospective patients can contact the Patient Care Services Department,  Social Worker or Patient Navigators at the hospital or health system to ask about aid-in-dying and finding a provider.

This might not be accurate per Karen  CHECK:   Catholic-affiliated health systems and hospitals, such as those under Dignity Health, will not participate.

Confusing CHECK:  California’s Veteran’s skilled nursing or retirement homes and providers of services operated under the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs will also not participate in aid-in-dying in VA facilities.

Will Insurance Cover The Cost Of Aid-In-Dying Drugs?

Every commercial insurance provider who provides coverage to patients in California will have a policy defining the level and type of coverage they provide for care and management of patients who are participating in the California End of Life Option Act. Likewise, each insurer will also have a policy about any offered coverage for aid-in-dying medication. You should call your insurer for details.

Medicare does not cover services for participation in the End of Life Option Act.

The Medi-Cal program will cover the cost of care and medication for patients wishing to participate in the End of Life Option Act but participation may require that patients establish a relationship with a participating “Fee-for-Service” Medi-Cal provider that is outside the system where they usually get their care. Medi-Cal patients are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider office for more information.

If I Ingest An Aid-In-Dying Drug And Die, How Will That Affect My Life Insurance Or Will?

The California End of Life Option Act legislation specifically states that participation in the California End of Life Act and death from ingesting aid-in-dying medication cannot affect any life insurance policy or impact any will. Death by ingestion of aid-in-dying medication cannot be considered suicide and suicide will not be listed on the death certificate.  restate this MAID is not considered suicide, and cause of death on death certificae will be stated as underlying disease.  CHECK 

Do I Need An Advance Directive Or POLST Form?

Advance care planning is important for all individuals regardless of your current health because it encourages you to examine and share your goals of life, goals of care and treatment wishes with family and medical providers. Advance care planning is particularly important for those who are considering aid-in-dying.

While instructions or requests for aid-in-dying cannot legally be written in to an advance directive or Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form, these documents can and should be used to clarify an aid-in-dying patient’s desire to avoid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or life-sustaining medical treatment if the patient has an immediate health crisis prior to using the aid-in-dying drug, or if the aid-in-dying process does not go smoothly. DO WE WANT TO SAY Not go smoothly????????  

An advance directive is used to legally name a health care decisionmaker and provide instructions for that individual regarding your treatment wishes. Learn more about advance directives.

POLST is designed specifically for people who are seriously ill or near the end of life. POLST is a form that clearly states what level of medical treatment a patient wants toward the end of life. Printed on bright pink paper, and signed by both the patient AND a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, POLST is a medical order which helps give seriously ill patients more control over their treatment. California law (AB 3000, Chapter 266) requires that a POLST form be followed by healthcare providers and provides immunity to those who comply in good faith.

Download the POLST form, tools and resources at caPOLST.org.

End of Life Choices California provides information and personal support regarding California’s End of Life Option Act and all other legal end-of-life options to the medical community and to the public.

End of life choices California


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