The following comes from a July 24 San Diego Union-Tribune article by Dana Littlefield:
SAN DIEGO — A Superior Court judge’s ruling Friday effectively halts a lawsuit seeking protections for California doctors who want to help terminally ill patients end their lives.
The lawsuit, filed in May on behalf of a San Diego physician and three people suffering from fatal illnesses, focuses on the debate over aid in dying, the term advocates prefer over doctor-assisted suicide.
Wallner and fellow plaintiff Christy O’Donnell of Santa Clarita were seated in the courtroom Friday morning when Judge Gregory Pollack heard arguments from the attorneys in the case and considered whether to allow the lawsuit to move forward.
The judge ruled that a state law that deems “every person who deliberately aids, advises or encourages a person to commit suicide” guilty of a felony is constitutional. The statute, he said, also applies to physicians.
He said there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide in California, and that it was not his job as a trial court judge to change that. Instead, he said, that job should be left to lawmakers or the voters.
“It’s up to the Legislature or the people through an initiative to change the law, not a Superior Court judge,” Pollack said.