Newsom Speeds Up Assisted Suicide

One week ago, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 380, making assisted suicide “more accessible.”

California legalized assisted suicide in 2015 with the End of Life Option Act. As devastating as that was, at least there were some provisions of that law that served to protect Californians. Foremost among them were a sunset clause and a legislative evaluation in 2026. Also vitally important: patients had to make two separate requests, a minimum of 15 days apart, for assisted suicide medication.

The law signed Oct. 5 shortens the required waiting period between the requests to 48 hours.
The new law also eliminates a requirement that the patient requesting assisted suicide make a “final attestation.”

Additionally, the new law requires a healthcare provider who is unable or unwilling to participate in assisted suicide to inform the patient that they do not participate, document the date of the individual’s request and the provider’s notice of their objection, and transfer their relevant medical record upon request. Previously, healthcare providers who objected to assisted suicide were not required to refer patients to a provider who did not object.

“California legislators claim that SB 380 preserves people’s autonomy and their dignity. It does precisely the opposite: it makes the elderly, disabled, and suffering more vulnerable to coercion, and it decimates their individual human dignity,” says Susan S. Arnall, Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Right to Life League.