A recent op-ed in the L.A. Times titled, “My friend has dementia and wants to end her life. California’s assisted-suicide law excludes her,” shines a light on the complexitites of expanding the state’s law beyond patients with a cancer diagnosis or terminal illness.
The law, passed in 2015 and modeled after a 1997 Oregon statute, allows physicians to give lethal drugs to mentally competent adults when they’re faced with a terminal illness and are expected to die within six months. Even as the law stands currently, medical experts and others are divided over the issue. And some worry expanding the law to those with memory deteriorating illnesses could put those patients at risk of increased pressure.
Today on AirTalk, we discuss the idea of expanding California’s law and what it could mean for patients and their loved ones. Have you been impacted by Alzheimer’s or Dementia in some way? What do you think about the idea? We want to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.
With guest host John Rabe
Josh Bloom, the director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at the American Council on Science and Health, a consumer advocacy group and non profit that promotes evidence-based science and medicine; he tweets @JoshBloomACSH