California's aid-in-dying law overturned in court

Right to Die: Judge overturns assisted suicide law

Judge pulls plug on California's assisted-suicide law

Brittany Maynard garnered national attention when she and her husband packed their belongings into a U-Haul and drove 600 miles north from California to OR so she could take advantage of the state's right-to-die law and die peacefully.

Judge tosses California law allowing terminally ill to take life-ending drugs, rules it was unconstitutionally enacted. Two years earlier Maynard, 29, who had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, publicized videos of her final weeks after she moved to OR to avail herself of the state's Death With Dignity Act.

Diaz, however, said he feels newly energized to push for legislation in California and elsewhere.

"He's not acknowledging it's a health care issue, even though we believe it is", spokesman Sean Wherley said.

"This unjust ruling to take away this compassionate option to peacefully end my suffering is my worst nightmare", said Matt Fairchild, 48, a retired Army staff sergeant from Burbank suffering from metastatic melanoma.

Compassion & Choices also released a statement from Matt Fairchild, whom it described as a 48-year-old retired Army staff sergeant from Burbank who has been diagnosed with terminal melanoma that has spread to his bones, lungs and brain. Facing a painful death, she moved to OR, where the nation's first such law was passed two decades ago, and legally obtained a doctor's prescription for the drug she used to end her life.

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An attorney for Compassion & Choices, the group that lobbies for the right-to-die law nationally, said he is hopeful Ottolia's ruling will be overturned on appeal. "It destroys trust between the doctor and the patient", said Dr. David Stevens, executive director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics.

Critics of assisted suicide charge the practice is not only potentially abusive, but it already is being used in place of health care.

Supporters of the law say its passage was valid because end-of-life options are health care options.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) has five days to challenge the decision before it goes into effect.

Larson, the lawyer for the Life Legal Defense Foundation, applauded "the courage demonstrated by the judge in finding the law unconstitutional". The 2015 law, which went into effect in June 2016, authorized doctors to prescribe lethal prescriptions to any patient determined by two doctors to have six months or less to live. "But that doesn't happen when someone requests aid in dying", Snyder said.

KLIVANS: But California's Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning says the law empowers patients and there's a rigorous screening process to qualify. Life Legal attorneys appeared in court this morning to argue that the End of Life Option Act, which decriminalizes physician-assisted suicide, is not related or even incidental to the stated goal of the special session. But I am dying and I refuse to lose my dignity. Becerra and 19 other attorneys general filed legal papers Tuesday supporting lawsuits filed against the president in Washington federal court by groups that promote birth control.

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