On Oktober 6, Senate Bill 380 is signed into law by Gov Newsom. The new law will improve access to the End of Life Option Act and goes into effect on January 1, 2022.
The California Department of Public Health believes there will be an additional appx. 330 prescriptions per year written thanks to SB 380, because more dying Californians will be able to access the law (around 1,000 total).
End of Life Option act
The End of Life Option Act gives mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to request prescription medication they can decide to take to peacefully end unbearable suffering. The legislation included a provision that would expire at the end of 2025 unless new legislation is passed. SB 380 extends that sunset provision to 2031.
Changes to the End of Life Option act
SB 380 makes the following changes to the existing situation:
- The mandatory minimum waiting period between the 1st and 2nd oral request will be reduced from 15 days to 48 hours
- Healthcare systems and hospices will have to post their aid-in-dying policies on their websites
- The final attestation form will be eliminated
- If a patient makes a request for medical aid in dying and their doctor cannot support them in it, the doctor will be required to tell the patient they will not support them, document the request in the patient’s medical record and transfer the patient’s medical records upon request
- Clarify that medical aid in dying can be taken within a helathcare facility