California lawmakers move to cut down on time required for the terminally ill to obtain lethal drugs

News & Politics

California legislators have moved to extend and alter the Golden State’s assisted suicide law with a bill that would significantly cut down on the amount of time that a terminally ill patient must wait before obtaining fatal drugs, according to the Associated Press.

While people seeking drugs to kill themselves currently must make two oral requests at least 15 days apart, this bill would drop that all the way down to just 48 hours.

It would also dispense with making the individual make a final written attestation within 48 hours of taking the drugs, according to the AP.

“It became clear that some well-intentioned aspects of the law serve as barriers for terminally ill patients who seek aid in dying,” Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood said, according to the outlet.

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While the existing law is slated to expire a number years from now, the new bill would extend until 2031, according to the AP.

Over 2,800 individuals have obtained a prescription since the law took effect, Wood said, according to the outlet, while over 1,800 have passed away from the drugs.

“The state Assembly advanced the bill Friday on a 47-14 vote, and the Senate agreed on a 26-8 roll call,” according to the AP, which noted that the bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“How could California lawmakers ever think of easing the rules on physician-assisted suicide during National Suicide Prevention Week? What insensitivity!” the California Catholic Conference tweeted earlier this week.

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