The 2016 California End of Life Options Act allows dying patients who are of sound mind, and can request and administer medication independently, to acquire a lethal drug prescription.
But the California Department of Veterans Affairs announced that vets residing in its homes who intend to take the medication must be discharged first. CalVet also barred all facility employees from discussing this option with residents.
Unable to resolve the conflict, the residents of the largest home are suing California for the right to take lethal medication in the event of terminal illness.
Kathryn Tucker, an attorney with the End of Life Liberty Project at the UC Hastings College of the Law, said the Alameda County Superior Court lawsuit seeks a commitment from CalVet to inform residents of any of the eight homes about their end of life options, and to make clear that veterans can choose aid in dying without being evicted.
In this interview on Capitol Public Radio, Tucker said if the lawsuit is successful, it could have implications for other states.