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photo credit:  Jim Bowen / Flickr HB1797, which would the Repeal of the Parental Notification Act of 1995, was introduced on February 16, 2...

February 18, 2021

California Bill would Force Doctors to Participate in Assisted Suicide

A new bill introduced in the California Senate would force doctors in the state to participate in assisted suicide. Specifically, the bill would require doctors who object to a patient's request to be killed to still refer their patients to other doctors who are willing to participate in assisted suicide.

An excerpt from California's SB 380 states:

(3) If a health care provider is unable or unwilling to carry out a qualified individual’s request under this part and the qualified individual transfers care to a new health care provider or health care facility, the individual’s medical records shall be provided to the individual and, upon the individual’s request, timely transferred with documentation of the date of the individual’s request for a prescription for aid-in-dying drug in the medical record, pursuant to law.

(4) Failure to provide information about medical aid in dying to an individual who requests it, or failure to refer upon the individual’s request to another health care provider or health care facility that is willing to provide the information, is considered a failure to obtain informed consent for subsequent medical treatments.

(5) Neither a health care provider nor a health care facility shall engage in false, misleading, or deceptive practices relating to a willingness to qualify an individual or provide a prescription to a qualified individual under this part. Intentionally misleading an individual as to the willingness of a provider or facility to participate under this part constitutes coercion or undue influence.

Under this law, doctors who refuse to refer their patients for assisted suicide could be subject to professional discipline or lawsuits for medical malpractice.

Critics of the bill argue that it could also cause doctors to either retire early or leave the state.

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