Hi there, Bridget Mackay here. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, California, and I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law. You have joined me today for my second in a four-part series of video blogs regarding California’s End Of Life Option Act, which is going to be implemented June 9th, 2016.
In part two, I’m going to address what are the requirements to get a prescription to end your life. For those who qualify and who want to exercise their end-of-life option, they would need to first establish that they are California residents. If you saw my basics video blog (part one), this is one of the requirements of the Act. Then you need to be diagnosed with an incurable and irreversible disease that will result in death within six months if gone untreated, which is important. If it goes untreated.
The determination they make will need to have come from your attending physician as well as a consult from another doctor. They have to agree on this diagnosis. Then once you have that, you need to request this option verbally to your doctor twice, with the request being made 15 days apart. Once that happens then you also have to request it in writing. Once you request it in writing you can do it with a form, ironically. The form is named, “The Request for an Aid-in-Dying Drug to End My Life in a Humane and Dignified Manner.” You don’t have to figure out what you’re going to write to the doctor for this request, it’s done for you. The State of California has developed this form. This document needs to be signed by you, or whoever is doing this, and at least two witnesses, only one of which can be related to you.
Then your doctor then needs to do a second assessment, this is different than the terminal disease, to see if you have the physical and mental ability to administer the drugs to yourself. And then a second physician needs to confirm this assessment. As you can see, there’s a lot of doctor confirmations for this and sometimes different than Dr. Death. You know this isn’t a doctor administered prescription. You’re administering it to yourself and you need to have the physical and mental capacity to do so.
To find out more, please stay tuned for our part three in the series in which we’re going to cover the topic of, how is the prescription administered, so we know that you have to administer it, but are there some requirements around it?