In 2015, the Legislature narrowly passed assisted suicide legalization despite bipartisan opposition.
It's only been six years since its passage, yet Senate Bill (SB) 380 seeks to dismantle all the "safeguards" assisted suicide proponents originally touted – including removing the 15 day waiting period and a patient's final attestation requirement. Additionally, the state of California still does not release much of the data collected by doctors and healthcare providers, and it continues to destroy records after three years.
The fact is, the California Legislature and those charged with protecting the public do not know if assisted suicide participants are being coerced, choosing this option due to cost or lack of hospice or specialty care, or without some underlying mental health condition present such as depression.
With major lawsuits pending on Civil Rights violations surrounding Medi-Cal participants receiving significantly inferior access to care and reports of rampant fraud in California nursing homes, the fiscal impact of SB 380 is unknown but potentially significant – in the tens of millions of dollars due to lawsuits and healthcare claims.
SB 380 does not offer genuine protection to patients and their families, nor does it ensure quality, equitable care for all. We must protect vulnerable persons in times of weakness – the poor, elderly, people with disabilities, and others in vulnerable groups – from indifference, prejudice, abuse, exploitation, devaluation, and psychological and financial pressure to end their lives.
SB 380 weakens patient protections. Please URGE your legislators to vote no on SB 380 and protect vulnerable patients.