CA Court Upholds Ban on Physician Assisted Suicide

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on August 17, 2015

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Last week we alerted you to the fact that a California court would consider the state’s ban on physician assisted suicide. As the state’s attorney general noted in advance of the hearing, “it is for the Legislature, not this court, to grapple with these important policy issues.” Fortunately, the Court agreed.

As a CBS News article covering the decision noted, Judge Goldsmith “felt that by granting the petition he would be creating a judge-made law without input from constituents. He agreed the legislature would be better equipped to take on the issue. The judge repeatedly expressed concern Friday about the possibility that, if the law was changed, a patient who is suffering financially from a terminal illness would be able to choose to die simply because their family wasn’t able to afford their continued medical expenses.”

Despite the movement for physician assisted suicide gaining momentum throughout the country, it still continues to be defeated in legislatures and in courts. Most citizens recognize that doctors shouldn’t be involved in the practice of killing and that it’s fundamentally at odds with their profession. It’s our hope that the law continues to enforce this, as well.

Image by brian turner via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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