CHA News Article

End of Life Option Act Referendum Fails to Qualify for Ballot

On Oct. 5, 2015, Gov. Brown signed AB X2-15, the End of Life Option Act, which permits an adult with a terminal disease and the mental capacity to make health care decisions to request and be prescribed an aid-in-dying drug if specified conditions are met. Opponents of AB X2-15 had filed a referendum with the California Secretary of State to repeal the End of Life Option Act. However, they failed to submit enough valid signatures to put the referendum on the ballot.

Because the bill was enacted during a special session of the California Legislature and not during the regular 2015 legislative session, the usual rules regarding its effective date do not apply. Instead, it will become effective 90 days after the special session ends. Legislative leaders have not yet decided exactly when that will occur, but it will be sometime between now and November 2016. CHA will notify members when the special session ends and, subsequently, the effective date of the End of Life Option Act.

CHA held a webinar Nov. 19 on the End of Life Option Act. The two-hour program provides an overview of the legislation, discusses the impact on hospitals and medical staff, and explains the requirements that must be met by the individual to be able to request aid-in-dying medication, and by the physician to prescribe it. Faculty also discussed appropriate documentation, reporting requirements and steps to take if there is a conflict between the hospital’s and an employee’s position on the Act.  A recording of the webinar can be ordered via the CHA website at www.calhospital.org/end-of-life-option-act-webinar-recording.

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