The California End of Life Option Act went into effect on June 9, 2016 after Compassion & Choices launched an ambitious campaign to pass the law. Immediately, opponents of medical aid in dying began efforts to invalidate or repeal the law. With help from Compassion & Choices’ legal and advocacy teams, volunteers and supporters, the law remains in effect while battles continue.

Compassion & Choices has over 100,000 supporters and 1,000 volunteers dedicated to advancing end-of-life options in California. California Action Teams are located in Riverside, San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles/Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, and the Bay Area. Action Teams are important parts of our Access Campaign. They provide education and outreach to communities and work to lobby healthcare systems, hospitals, and hospices to support physicians in honoring eligible patients if they decide to receive medical aid in dying. If you’re interested in joining one of those teams, or starting an Action Team in your town or city, click here.

Accessing the Law

If you’re an eligible terminally-ill Californian who would like to access the law, you can use our Find Care Tool to locate a healthcare team that will honor your end-of-life values.

Advocacy

This year, our legal team mounted a so-far successful effort to beat back a lawsuit. Our opponents claimed that the law should be invalidated because it was passed during a special legislative session on health care, rather than during the regular session. Read more about the court challenge here.  Compassion & Choices also defended the law from legislation that would have made it more difficult for dying patients to access end-of-life options. The bill was defeated. To join our efforts to protect and defend the California law, click here.

Education & Outreach

Compassion & Choices has instituted a bilingual California Access campaign designed to help patients, caregivers and health professionals better understand how the law works, and help health facilities develop more supportive policies. This year alone, staff and volunteers presented at over 100 public outreach events. Compassion & Choices also actively provides technical assistance and presentations to healthcare providers on end-of-life options.  One measure of success: to date more than 80% of large health facilities have adopted policies supportive of medical aid in dying.

California Volunteer Orientation and Onboarding Webinars are held two Thursdays per month at 9am. To RSVP and receive instructions for joining the webinar, please complete this form. For additional information, please contact Erika Ruiz, CA Public Outreach Manager at [email protected]

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