California’s End of Life Option Act has been in effect since June. And doctors are now legally allowed to prescribe end-of-life medication to adults who have diseases resulting in death within six months.
While this may be a triumph for those who have been championing the legislation, doctors who offer end-of-life care can be hard to come by.
As reported in San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times, the state’s new law doesn’t guarantee that patients seeking end-of-life treatment will find a doctor. This has led some patients to Oregon, which passed its Death With Dignity Act in 1997.
So how is the law working, and what can be done for patients who want end-of-life care, but can’t find the treatment they need?
Hilary Fausett M.D., pain management specialist at Foothill Center for Wellness and Pain Management
Linda Van Zandt, entrepreneur and writer; she is the author of the Los Angeles Times op-ed piece, “My aunt’s struggle with assisted suicide: There was death, but not enough dignity”
Christian Burkin, spokesman for California State Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman; Eggman championed AB 15, California’s End-of-Life Act