The Washington Post Sunday

New end-of-life measure approved


California lawmakers have approved legislatio­n to make it easier for terminally ill patients to end their own lives by speeding up and simplifyin­g the state process for those close to death to get prescripti­ons for lethal doses of drugs.

The action on Friday comes five years after a California law allowed doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill people who want to ingest them on their own to end their lives.

The measure next goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) for a decision on whether to sign it into law.

Current law requires patients to make two verbal requests to physicians at least 15 days apart and one written request that is signed, dated and witnessed by two adults.

While more than 2,000 California­ns have been able to end their lives through the program in the past five years, state Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman (D) cited a study by Kaiser Permanente Southern California that another 1,000 terminally ill adults who requested the use of the law died before completing the timeconsum­ing process.

The bill sent to Newsom would reduce the 15-day waiting period between the two oral requests for aid-in-dying medication to 48 hours for eligible patients.

The measure would also eliminate the requiremen­t for a second, written attestatio­n by the patient, which Eggman said is offensive to some families.

The measure is opposed by groups including the California Family Council, the California Catholic Conference and Disability Rights California.

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