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California’s new assisted suicide law is challenged in court

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3471 (Published 21 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3471
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Five southern California physicians and a Christian doctors’ organization have filed suit to strike down the state’s new law on physician assisted suicide, which has been in force since last week.

The plaintiffs include two oncologists, a neurologist, two palliative care specialists, and the American Academy of Medical Ethics, which has around 15 000 physician members across the United States, including 600 in California.

In papers filed with Riverside County Superior Court they argued that the End of Life Option Act “violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the California Constitution in that it fails to make rational distinctions between [eligible patients] with supposedly terminal diseases, and the vast majority of Californians …

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