October 31, 2017

Aid-in-Dying Laws Present New Challenges for Health Care Providers

Pamela Kaufmann

California recently marked the one-year anniversary of the End of Life Option Act (the “CA Act”), the state’s hotly debated aid-in-dying (AID) law and the fourth such statute in the country. In the year since the CA Act took effect, two more jurisdictions have passed similar laws. The roster now includes, in the order of passage, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, Colorado and Washington D.C., and the right to take AID drugs is protected by case law in Montana. Furthermore, according to the Death With Dignity National Center30 states considered or are considering such legislation in 2017. In Hawaii alone, at least five bills on this subject were introduced this year. The AID movement has gained enormous momentum due to organizations such as Death With Dignity and Compassion and Choices. It is reasonable to expect that AID laws will be enacted in several more states in the next decade.

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