Major Improvements to the End of Life Option Act
EOLCCA is thrilled to share the long-awaited news that yesterday, October 5, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 380. This new law makes some badly needed adjustments to the existing End of Life Option Act in California, which was signed into law exactly 6 years ago on that very date by then Governor Jerry Brown.
These new provisions will become effective on January 1, 2022. Here is what will be different for anyone seeking Medical Aid in Dying in California in less than three months from now.
- The new bill reduces the onerous 15-day waiting period between the required two oral requests, to 48 hours. This is a big change and will help many people access the law who couldn’t previously.
- Healthcare systems and hospices will now have to post their aid-in-dying policies on their websites. This will be extremely helpful in guiding people as to where they choose to receive their healthcare, especially if they are very sick or terminally ill and wish to request medical aid in dying.
- The final attestation form will be completely eliminated. This was a document that the patient was expected to fill out and sign within 48 hours prior to taking aid-in-dying medication.
- If a terminally ill patient requests medical aid in dying and their physician does not wish to participate, the physician will be required to tell the patient they will not support them. AND, the physician must document the request in the patient’s medical record and transfer the patient’s medical records upon request.
- The amendment also clarifies that medical aid in dying medication can be taken within a healthcare facility.
We applaud Senator Susan Eggman for her dedicated leadership on this important issue and all California lawmakers who voted for this new measure, as well as Governor Newsom for signing this amendment into law.