The following comes from a March 10 LA Times article by Patrick McGreevy:
California’s terminally ill patients should begin talking to physicians now if they want to end their lives, advocates said Thursday after a legislative vote triggered a June 9 start date for the End of Life Option Act.
The law, which allows doctors in California to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill people who want to hasten their deaths, includes a time-consuming approval process that could take several weeks, said Toni Broaddus, California campaign director for the group Compassion & Choices.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure last year, but it wasn’t until the Legislature adjourned a special session in Sacramento on Thursday that June 9 was set for when it becomes legal for physicians to write lethal doses without fear of criminal prosecution.
Even if some terminally ill patients begin the process now, Broaddus said she does not expect a large number of deaths on June 9. In Oregon, which previously adopted the same law, patients on average wait 45 days to take the lethal doses from the time they are prescribed.
The delays are often the result of patients wanting the doses in hand just in case but waiting until the last possible moment to take the medication, Broaddus said.