California lawmakers introduce new legislation that would ease limits on aid-in-dying law

California
A sign promoting promoting assisted suicide is displayed at the Hemlock Society's annual meeting being held at the Bahia resort Jan. 10, 2003 in San Diego, California. The society advocates "choice and dignity at the end of life," according to its Website. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

A sign promoting promoting assisted suicide is displayed at the Hemlock Society’s annual meeting being held at the Bahia resort Jan. 10, 2003 in San Diego, California. The society advocates “choice and dignity at the end of life,” according to its Website. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Five years after a California law allowed doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill people who want to end their lives, new legislation introduced Wednesday would make it easier for those who are dying to choose that option.

The bill would speed up the process for patients whose physicians certify they are close to death, and require hospitals that don’t allow physicians to participate to provide patients with information on the law that could include where they can get assistance at another healthcare facility.

“We know that thousands of Californians have been able to access the law, but we also know that there are unfortunately too many unnecessary regulatory roadblocks that are preventing dying patients from being able to access the law,” said Kim Callinan, chief executive of the Compassion and Choices Action Network, a national nonprofit that supports the physician-assisted death law.

Nearly 2,000 Californians with terminal illnesses used the California End of Life Option Act to receive prescriptions for lethal doses during the law’s first three and a half years, according to the most recent data available, and 1,283 of them ingested medication to hasten their death during that period.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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