- Being a California resident,
- Having two doctor opinions,
- Making their own, informed medical decisions,
- Voluntarily making two oral requests, at least 15 days apart, for life-ending medication,
- Making one, final written request for the medication to end one’s life, and
- Administering their own lethal drug prescribed by a qualified physician.
The Community Link, a newspaper serving eastern Ventura County, published “Planning Options For End of Life,” in the June 2017 issue. The article is published in its entirety below, or see The Community Link, June issue – page 11. Planning Options For End of Life By Terri Hilliard No one wants to talk about it, but death is inevitable. We don’t know how or when it will occur, yet, most people delay planning for this eventuality. While the subject may seem morose and even uncomfortable, it is essential to explore your options and detail your wishes in advance – everything from retirement to long term care to distribution of assets to funeral services. To a large extent, you can control what happens at every stage of your life, but it must be well thought out and properly planned. We all want to live as long as possible, but what do we do if we contract a terminal illness or in some other way are given only a few months to live? Your estate plan will lay out how your affairs will be handled after your passing, but what can you do while you’re living and find you have no hope of recovery? You have a number of options. One such option is turning to the California End of Life Option Act, which went into effect a year ago this June. The law permits terminally ill, adult patients with capacity to end their lives under certain conditions and medical supervision. If someone is diagnosed as terminally ill with six months or less to live, the individual may now choose to end his or her life in a peaceful and humane way with prescribed medication. In many cases, this option can ease one’s last days that could be filled with agony, family trauma, and costly hospital bills. Many proponents of this process call it “death with dignity.” The landmark law outlines how to obtain the medication, plus safeguards to protect both the patients and the physicians. The Act also details specific conditions that dying patients must meet in order to end their lives, including: