California became the 5th state to approve Medical Aid in Dying. For more information click here. The End of Life Options Act was met with intense emotions from supporters and detractors. When the law is fully implemented, terminally ill individuals will have the option to request a prescription from a physician that leads to an immediate and painless death. The guidelines follow those from Oregon that have been in place for 20 years. There are many safeguards against abuse.
This is a mew era for end of life professionals. We have the chance to truly partner with patients and their families to help determine the best option for themselves. No one ever truly gets over the death of a beloved family member of friend, but we can help them get through it. This is a start.
In California we stand on the verge of becoming the 5th state to approve medical aid in dying. Governor Brown has the legislation on his desk and has not indicated if he will sign the legislation into law. Here is what we know about the proposed law:
There is passion on both sides of the debate. Some of the biggest names in end of life care are passionately against it. Read Ira Byock’s editorial here
Disability rights advocates are against it. Read their position here.
Brittany Maynard began the discussion and her husband continues the adovcacy for people who are dying. Read about their story here.
What do organizations who are nuetral have to say on the current state of end of life care? Read the scathing judgement of the Institute of Medicine ( an organization of experts who systematically gather data and produce reports that sysnthesize the data into recommendations) Dying in America report here.
Listen to the NPR coverage of the research data that shows end of life care is getting worse in the United States despite years of effort to change it to the better. This study was shocking in more ways than I can state.