Whether or not a terminally ill individual should have the right to decide when he or she dies is a vehemently contested issue. Throughout most of the U.S., physician-assisted suicide is illegal. If it goes on, it is not talked about or done within the eyes of the law. Only six states have some form of legalized physician-assisted suicide, including Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and the District of Columbia. However, California’s current law is up for debate with a new legal challenge.
California’s Current Law
California’s current physician-assisted suicide law is known as the End of Life Option Act and went into effect in June of 2016. The law enables qualified, terminally ill individuals to ask for and obtain medications that would result in death when they chose to administer them. The law is entirely voluntary for both patients and physicians, and there are safeguards in place to ensure it is not abused.