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California’s End of Life Option Act in limbo

On May 16 Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia granted a motion of the law’s opponents, saying the California State Legislature violated the state constitution by passing the law during a special session limited to healthcare.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday appealed a district court ruling invalidating the End of Life Option Act; he requested the law be allowed to continue providing dying Californians with peace and control in their final days. While there are no guarantees during legal proceedings, all indicators suggest that death with dignity in California will remain available to patients while the appeal makes it way through the court system.

But in the end the nightmare has come to pass: The Riverside County Superior Court judge yesterday officially overturned the California End of Life Option Act (the formal ruling confirmed his earlier verbal ruling, thus far unsuccessfully appealed by the state’s Attorney General).

The law is no longer in effect—for now.