A California judge rejected a bid from assisted suicide supporters to reverse a ruling that threatens to invalidate the 2015 law.
On Wednesday Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia rejected a motion to vacate his decision declaring the End of Life Options Act unconstitutional. Assisted suicide supporters Compassion & Choices filed the motion on behalf of two terminally ill patients, as well as a doctor who prescribes lethal medication, in an effort to protect the law. Dr. Catherine Sonquist Forest, a clinical associate professor of family medicine at University of California at San Francisco Natividad, asked the court to revisit its initial judgment to avoid “confusion” for patients and doctors.
“The recent decision that the End of Life Option Act was enacted unconstitutionally has left me, my colleagues, and patients reeling as we try to navigate end-of-life care,” Dr. Forest said in a petition. “The resulting confusion has compounded my patients’ suffering.”
Judge Ottolia ruled on May 15 that California Democrats improperly fast tracked the bill to legalize assisted suicide. They adopted the bill during a special session convened by Gov. Jerry Brown to address a $1 billion shortfall in the MediCal program. Ottolia said passing the controversial legislation fell outside the scope of that session, emphasizing that the ruling applied solely on the manner in which the law was passed, rather than the substance of assisted suicide.