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California Lawmakers Consider Right-to-Die Legislation

A cancer patient and five doctors filed suit in February to attempt to exempt physicians from suit and criminal charges if they help terminally ill patients end their lives. Currently, California has a ban on assisted suicide, but this suit would change that. They argue that physicians are not helping the patient commit suicide, but are helping the patient have a peaceful death. Lawmakers have also been considering lifting the ban.

In one case, the case of Brittany Maynard, the patient actually moved to Oregon so that she could end her life legally. Ms. Maynard suffered from a terminal brain cancer. Lawmakers argue that no one should have to “uproot their lives for a peaceful death.”

Those who oppose the measure are worried that sick patients would feel pressured to end their lives because of the high cost of treatment if insurance will not pay for their care. They could also consider ending their life early because of elder abuse as well. There is an overarching concern that their lives will end without their “real” consent. Right now, sedation is an option, but assisted suicide is not.

If this law changes, it may also change how patients set up their estates and medical power of attorney documents. Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann can help you determine how this change might affect you and your loved ones. Call experienced trust, estates, and elder law attorneys at our San Jose office at 408-780-1912 or our Danville office at 408-780-1912 or contact Temmerman, Cilley, Kohlmann & Norcia, LLP. online today.


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