The following comes from an August 26 Press Enterprise article by Gail Wesson:
A Riverside County Superior Court judge rejected a request by a physicians group to put the state’s new right-to-die law on hold Friday, Aug. 26, pending court review.
Technically called the End of Life Option Act, the law passed by the Legislature last year decriminalized physician-assisted suicides for individuals of sound mind diagnosed with terminal health conditions expected to die within six months.
The lawsuit was filed by six physicians and the Christian Medical and Dental Society against Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin in June.
At issue in hearings before Judge Daniel A. Ottolia was whether the plaintiffs could sue Hestrin, and whether there were legal grounds to order a preliminary injunction to put a freeze on the law pending further court action.
Ottolia found that Hestrin could be named as a defendant and that no injunction should be ordered at this time.
Attorney Stephen G. Larson said outside court that the plaintiffs would weigh options on their next steps, including filing an appeal of the injunction ruling.
Opponents of the law have argued it was improperly passed during a special session of the legislature, is unconstitutional and does not offer enough safeguards for patients and their physicians.
Supporters have said the law includes adequate oral and written consent by patients making decisions, and patients and physicians can opt out of exercising the choice to seek prescription medications that lead to death.