End of life option act summary
California has implemented the End of Life Option Act to provide aid in dying for qualifying terminally ill California residents. Signed into law by Governor Brown in October 2015, the law went into effect on June 9, 2016. California is the fifth state to enact an aid-in-dying law.
The eligibility requirements for the end of life option act are:
The demand must be made directly by the patient to the attending physician, and cannot be made on behalf of the patient through a power of attorney, an advance health care directive, a conservator, health care agent, surrogate, or any other legally recognized health care decision maker.
Participation Is Voluntary For Patients And Health Providers
Partaking in the End of Life Option Act is completely voluntary for individual patient’s health providers (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) as well as health systems, HMOs, hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes, pharmacies and hospices. Insurance providers are not required to cover aid-in-dying drugs or related physician fees. If the patient’s health provider is not participating in the End of Life Option Act, the patient can request basic information or ask for a referral.
Prior To Discussing The Aid-In-Dying Drug, A Patient And Their Physician Should Discuss:
The Process For Requesting Aid-In-Dying Drugs
If a terminally-ill patient meets the requirements to receive the aid-in-dying drug, the patient and his or her attending physician must follow several steps which are carefully defined in the law, including:
The Law Requires That The Patient And Attending Physician Discuss All Of The Following:
If the patient still wishes to proceed and the attending physician agrees, the attending physician may provide the aid-in-dying drug by either dispensing it directly to the patient or by delivering the prescription to a participating pharmacist. By law, the physician cannot hand a written prescription directly to the patient or their representative.
Before taking the drug, the patient must sign a Final Attestation for Aid-in-Dying Drug form (PDF) which confirms they are taking the drug voluntarily, are under no obligation to take the drug, and may rescind the request at any time. The completed form is to be returned to the attending physician to be placed in the patient’s medical