The move follows the usual path of physician-assisted suicide laws in other states and nations – promise protections and limits, then gradually strip those away.
Specifically, SB 380 (Eggman, D-Stockton) would:
- Prematurely end the existing 2025 sunset date and legislative reevaluation option years early with little to no scientific data to support this action (especially in light of the worldwide pandemic);
- Stop future oversight or evaluation of annual reports about assisted suicide requests and their out outcomes. (Existing reports do not contain any data regarding complications, reasons for requesting the lethal drugs, and for the limited data provided, much is listed as “unknown.”)
- Remove the 15-day waiting period “safeguard.”
Proponents of the physician-assisted suicide (PAS) law touted the fact that California’s law had strong protections when it passed inappropriately during a special legislative session called to look at Medi-Cal funding six years ago. Now, those “safeguards” could be eliminated. In fact, during the first committee oversight hearing to extend the law, proponents even brought up the “need” to let more minorities know of the law's existence bemoaning the fact that minorities were not using the law.
Sadly, Medi-Cal still does not have sufficient palliative care funding to ensure recipients receive adequate end-of-life care and are not subtly encouraged to take their lives.
This law was implemented in 2016 with very specific requirements and with proponents promising sound decision-making and information gathering to provide the science to evaluate the law’s impact. Yet now, after only four years and only three very inconclusive reports by the California Department of Public Health, they say the state should end the current 2025 sunset date and legislative reevaluation option now.
Why now? Why the rush? Why, after so many deaths during the pandemic and rates of depression skyrocketing, do we need to encourage more death now?
Please contact your California elected representative and strongly urge a NO vote on SB 380.