Facilities in four states claim they’ll risk losing federal funding if they allow assisted suicide.
The state of California passed a law three years ago that allows terminally ill people to take lethal drugs to end their lives, but controversy is growing over a newer rule that effectively bans that option in the state’s eight veterans’ homes.
Proponents of medical aid-in-dying and residents of the Veterans Home of California at Yountville – the largest in the nation – are protesting a regulation passed in 2016 by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or CalVet, that requires that anyone living in the facilities must be discharged if they intend to use the law.
That’s a position shared by most – but not all – states where aid-in-dying is allowed. As more U.S. jurisdictions consider whether to legalize the practice, the status of terminally ill veterans living in state-run homes will loom large . . . [Full Text]
Some doctors in California felt uncomfortable last year when a new law began allowing terminally ill patients to request lethal medicines, saying their careers had been dedicated to saving lives, not ending them.
Many healthcare systems designed protocols for screening people who say they’re interested in physician-assisted death, including some that were meant to dissuade patients from taking up the option.
But physicians across the state say the conversations that health workers are having with patients are leading to patients’ fears and needs around dying being addressed better than ever before. They say the law has improved medical care for sick patients, even those who don’t take advantage of it.
“One doctor said we should be able to order the End of Life Option Act without the drugs,” said Dr. Neil Wenger, director of the UCLA Health Ethics Center. “It really has created a new standard for how we ought to be helping people at the end of life.” . . . [Full text]
Wesley J. Smith
This lawsuit is a little before its time.
Should assisted suicide become widely accepted in this country, activists will try to force all doctors to participate–either by doing the deed or referring to a doctor known to be willing to lethally prescribe.
But it isn’t yet, and so the pretense of the movement that they only want an itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy change in mores and law continues as SOP.
But sometimes they show their true intentions. Thus, when UCSF oncologists refused to assist a cancer patient’s suicide, the woman died of her disease. Now, her family is suing–using the same attorney (Kathryn Tucker) who tried (unsuccessfully) to obtain an assisted suicide Roe v Wade in 1997 and has brought other pro-assisted sucide cases around the country. . . [Full text]
Dignity Health moves patient’s surgery to another hospital over Catholic directives
Two days before Evan Minton’s scheduled hysterectomy last September at Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a nurse called to discuss pre- and post-operation care. Toward the end of the call, Minton had a request.
“‘I just want to let you know that I’m transgender and my pronouns mean a great deal to me,'” he recalled saying.
According to Minton, the nurse was affirming. He hung up with a positive feeling. But the next day his doctor called with bad news. The hospital had canceled the procedure. He was terrified that the cancellation would add months or years to his physical transition.
Now, seven months later, the 35-year-old is teaming up with the American Civil Liberties Union to sue Dignity Health for denying care to a transgender patient. . . [Full text]
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A California woman who identifies as a man has filed a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital and its parent company for prohibiting her surgeon from performing a sex change-related hysterectomy at the facility because of the organization’s religious convictions.
The 35-year-old woman, who goes by the name Evan Minton, had been scheduled to undergo a complete hysterectomy at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael last August. She believed the procedure was necessary to comport with her preferred identity.
However, the day before her appointment, after she noted to a nurse that she identifies as “transgender,” the surgery was canceled.
“In general, it is our practice not to provide sterilization services at Dignity Health’s Catholic facilities,” said spokeswoman Melissa Jue in a statement at the time. . . [Full text]