By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On May 15, Riverside Superior Court Judge, Daniel Ottolia, invalidated the California assisted suicide law by ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the law.
California passed its assisted suicide law in a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session.
Judge Ottolia, held that
“the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”
The Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld Judge Ottolia’s decision.
However Compassion & Choices (C & C), an assisted suicide lobby group, stated in their May 24 media release:
the law remains in effect and patients can still access it.
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA Attorney, Sara Buscher, responded by stating:
“This is a declaratory judgment which means that once the judge declared the law unconstitutional, the law no longer exists. No need for an injunction to invalidate the law. I would argue the law has never existed– void ab initio.
Local district attorneys can now enforce the law and prosecute the doctors for assisting suicide when writing deadly prescriptions.”
Former New Hampshire House Speaker and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA board member, the Hon. William O’Brien said;
“Compassion and Choices should not be saying that this preserves the law even temporarily.
If it was unconstitutionally enacted, there is a very strong argument it never came into effect and no doctor should be relying on it. That can – and should be – the effect of the final order in this case.”
And I stated in my article:
I am convinced that C & C is baiting pro-assisted suicide doctors to continue prescribing lethal drugs to enable them to create a legal challenge to the decision that correctly found that the California assisted suicide law is unconstitutional.
On May 26, C & C sent out a fund-raising letter admitting that the California assisted suicide law has been invalidated and then they ask people to “rush a donation” to C & C. They state in their fund-raising email:
for the time being physicians are no longer authorized to write prescriptions for medical aid-in-dying (better known as lethal assisted suicide drugs)
C & C decided to confuse the media while acknowledging the truth in order to raise money from their supporters.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition recognizes that this is the opportunity to convince California legislators that prescribing lethal drugs is not about freedom or autonomy but rather it’s an abandonment of people at a vulnerable time and to reject assisted suicide.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.