The District of Columbia and seven states have laws on the books allowing terminally ill patients who wish to end their lives sooner to request doctor prescriptions for lethal medications. This law has been the subject of fierce debate since its implementation in the Golden State in 2015.
As NPR reports, yesterday, a judge in California’s Riverside County put a halt to this law, claiming its induction to the legislature and to the governor's desk was suspicious, if not unconstitutional.
Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia gave five days for the state of California to appeal it. In a statement to the LA Times, the AG responded: “"We strongly disagree with this ruling and the state is seeking expedited review in the Court of Appeal."
We at the Human Defense Initiative are thankful in this fight for people like Stephen G. Larson, the lead counsel for the group of doctors who sued in 2016 which lead to this point. He told the Sacramento Bee when finding out about the ruling, “We're very satisfied with the court's decision today.”
The overturning of the law is a breath of hope to life advocates across the country. According to the LA Times, more than 100 people in California made use of the euthanasia law in the first six months of its induction. However, life in its entirety is beautiful and worth living fully.
According to advocacy group Compassion and Choices, almost 1 in 5 Americans live in a state with legalized physician-assisted suicide. While the ethical implications surrounding euthanasia are a complex topic of discussion, it is undeniable that life is important and precious from conception to the very end.
Keep fighting. There is hope, even in California!