California Judge Blocks Assisted Suicide Law

Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General of California made a Wednesday announcement that his office will speed up the review process of Judge Daniel Ottolia’s decision to overturn a state law regarding physician-assisted suicides.

Judge Ottolia, seated in Riverside County Superior Court, did not offer an opinion on the legality of the law that allows individuals who have been given less than six months to live can obtain drugs from a qualified physician to end their lives. Judge Ottolia ruled instead that the law should not have been passed while lawmakers were in a special session to discuss health care funding.

California was the fifth state in the nation to legalize what is known as a “right to die” law and 111 patients have utilized the option since the law’s inception.

Judge Ottolia is extending the courtesy to the state of holding the judgment for a five day period in order to give time for the state to prepare and file a planned emergency appeal. Bacerra, who strongly disagrees with the ruling of Judge Otolia has stated definitively that the appeal will be filed.

The lead attorney for the collective of officials that filed a lawsuit in 2016 to halt physician-assisted suicides, Steven G, Larson, has expressed that he and his clients are extremely satisfied with the action taken by Judge Ottolia. Larson explained that the law itself was hurried along through the special session process and does not possess the safeguards that would normally be seen regarding a law of this nature.

Larson’s clients, along with other opponents of the physician-assisted suicide law, feel that the door has been opened for terminally ill patients to be coerced and abused.

This stance is in direct contradiction with what supporters of the law feel are accurate as they say that protections are in place that includes multiple examinations and a conclusive determination by a physician that the patient will succumb to their illness within a six month period.