CHA News Article

Governor Signs Aid-in-Dying Bill
Effective date unknown; CHA preparing webinar for hospital compliance

Gov. Brown has signed AB X2-15, the End of Life Option Act, which allows a “qualified” adult to request and be prescribed an aid-in-dying drug if specified conditions are met. In the Act, a qualified adult is one who has the mental capacity to make medical decisions and who has been confirmed by two physicians to have an incurable and irreversible disease that will, within reasonable medical judgment, cause the individual’s death within six months. Because AB X2-15 was enacted during a special session of the 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. The legislative leaders have not yet decided exactly when the special session will end, but it will be sometime between January 2016 and November 2016.

A referendum has already been filed with the California Secretary of State to repeal the End of Life Option Act. If the referendum proponents gather enough valid signatures to put it on the ballot, implementation of the End of Life Option Act will be delayed until election day. However, until the backers of the referendum submit enough valid signatures, implementation is not delayed.

All hospitals will have work to do to comply with the End of Life Option Act, regardless of whether they choose to allow their staff to participate in prescribing aid-in-dying drugs. CHA is preparing detailed written materials for hospitals and will schedule a webinar before the end of this year.