Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 39

California's End Of Life Option Act
COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Who Is Eligible For Medical Aid In Dying?
To be eligible for medical aid in dying under
California's law, an individual must be:
n An adult
n Terminally ill
n Given a prognosis of six months or less to live
n Mentally capable of making their own healthcare
decisions
n A resident of California
n Acting voluntarily
n Making an informed decision which includes being
given information about all other end-of-life options
n Informed that s/he may choose to obtain the aid-indying drug, but not take it
n Capable of self-administering and ingesting the aidin-dying drug
Steps for Using the California
Law to Access Medical Aid in Dying
In addition to the requirements listed above, a process
must be followed in order for an individual to qualify for
a prescription for aid-in-dying medication.
n Make a total of three (3) voluntary requests - two
oral requests at least 15 days apart and one written
request - using the statutory form, signed by two
witnesses (see next section for who may and may not
serve as a witness), directly to the doctor. No specific
order is required. Note: The requests cannot be made
by a designee or third party (including relatives or
anyone with power of attorney), and the request
cannot be made via an advance healthcare directive.
n Have the physical and mental ability to self-

administer the aid-in-dying medication by ingesting
it.
Two California physicians must agree that you are
eligible to use the California End of Life Option Act.
One physician prescribes the medication, and the other
physician gives a consulting opinion. If either physician
is unable to determine your mental capacity in making
the request, a mental health professional (psychiatrist or
psychologist) must evaluate you and ensure that you are
capable of making your own healthcare decisions.
n Prove residency in the state of California by one of
the following means:
n Possession of a driver license or other identification
issued by the state of California
n Registration to vote in California
n Evidence of ownership or leasing of property in
California, or
n Filing of a California tax return for the most recent
tax year
n Give fully informed consent.
n Complete the statutory Final Attestation form
within 48 hours prior to ingesting the aid-indying medication, reiterating the intent to take the
medication and awareness of the consequences.
Note: An individual may at any time withdraw the
request for the aid-in-dying drug or decide not to ingest
the drug.
Additional Provisions of the
California End of Life Option Act
n Persons with Disabilities or Elderly Persons: The law
specifically states that no person can qualify for aidin-dying medication based solely on their disability
or age.
n Guardians and Conservators: May not be appointed
solely because a person makes a request for aid-indying medication under the law.
To receive more information visit
www.compassionandchoices.org
Reprinted with Permission from Compassion and
choices.org

Council On Aging - Southern California | 714-479-0107 | www.coasc.org	 Answers Guide 2017

39

HEALTHCARE

The California End of Life Option Act1 authorizes
medical aid in dying. The law allows a mentally capable,
terminally ill adult with six months or less to live to
request aid-in-dying medication from their doctor
for self-administration, if their suffering becomes
unbearable, to bring about a peaceful death. The law,
which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October
5, 2015, went into effect on June 9, 2016.


http://www.compassionandchoices.org http://www.choices.org http://www.coasc.org

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