A group of Christian physicians sued the state of California on Tuesday, claiming that last year’s revisions to the state’s 2015 assisted suicide law will force medical personnel to violate their conscience and participate in procedures they oppose on religious grounds.
The new regulations, codified in California Senate Bill 380, now require physicians who have objections to assisted suicide to “document” a patient’s request before referring that patient to another physician.
The objecting physician would have to educate the patient about aid-in-dying medication and procedures and transfer the patient’s files to another doctor who would provide the treatment.
In addition, S.B. 380 shortens the period between the legally required two separate notifications by a patient that they wish to undergo the procedure from 15 days to 48 hours. Documentation of the request — even if made to a physician who has religious or ethical objections to the practice — would constitute one of those required notifications, making the objecting physician effectively a participant in the end-of-life procedure, the lawsuit claims.
Compelling these actions, attorneys representing the Christian Medical and Dental Associations claimed, effectively “mandates that physicians engage in statutorily required steps to advance the patient toward assisted suicide,” according to the suit filed in federal court.
The new bill compels all California physicians “to provide patients with information about assisted suicide and to refer patients for assisted suicide against their religious, ethical, and medical objections to doing so, and leaves them open to criminal, civil, administrative, and professional liability if they do not comply,” the complaint stated.
The above comes from a Feb. 22 story in the Washington Times.