I have written about the Washington State assisted suicide expansion bill (HB 1141) and the assisted suicide lobby's push to legalize assisted suicide in more US States, but the California assisted suicide expansion bill (SB 380), among other concerns, attacks conscience rights for medical professionals and institutions.
The current California assisted suicide law does not require medical professionals who oppose participation with killing their patients to refer their patients to a physician who is willing to prescribe their patients lethal drugs for assisted suicide.
SB 380 requires that anyone who requests lethal drugs from a physician who opposes assisted suicide, that the physician must be immediately refer that patient to a physician or facility willing to kill. SB 380 states:
failure to refer upon the individual’s request to another health care provider or health care facility that is willing to provide the information, is considered a failure to obtain informed consent for subsequent medical treatments.
SB 380 also changes the definition of participation for health care facilities. The original law allowed health care facilities that object to assisted suicide to prohibit their employees from participating in assisted suicide. SB 380 changes the term participation to prescribing, meaning that an objecting facility cannot prohibit their employees from participating in the assisted suicide death of their patients, they can only prohibit their employees from prescribing the lethal drugs.
SB 380 also allows physicians to waive the 15 day waiting period.
The US assisted suicide lobby are promoting assisted suicide by expanding the existing assisted suicide laws to make it easier to obtain lethal drugs and expand eligibility, while also promoting the legalization of assisted suicide in more states.
Alex Schadenberg is Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition