California Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Our Favor

September 25, 2018

The court of appeals suggests that opponents had no standing to bring the case Ahn v. Hestrin, which aims to invalidate the End of Life Option Act.

The California Court of Appeals has released an encouraging tentative ruling in the Ahn v. Hestrin lawsuit to overturn the End of Life Option Act. At the moment, the court’s position is that the plaintiffs had no standing to bring the case and the trial court erred in allowing the suit to proceed in the first place.

The tentative ruling states: “The Ahn parties’ terminally ill patients may be divided into two groups. One group, upon receiving their diagnosis, will want to request assisted suicide. The Ahn parties, however, brought this action to prevent them from doing so. They cannot possibly ‘speak for’ this group of patients, even if they claim to be doing so for their benefit. The other group will not want to request assisted suicide. In that event, however, all they have to do is not request it. The Act simply does not affect them; thus, it also does not affect the Ahn parties.”

This opinion is only preliminary, however. After hearing oral arguments from both sides, which are scheduled for October 9, the court could choose to change or amend the tentative ruling. Even if we prevail at the appellate level, opponents could appeal to the California Supreme Court.

As parties in this case, Compassion & Choices and cooperating counsel will be at the court during the oral arguments representing two patients and a physician. Meanwhile our legal team continues preparing a vigorous defense of the law. Says Compassion & Choices National Director of Legal Advocacy Kevin Díaz, “While we are hopeful that the result stands, it can completely change, and we’re poised to protect the law regardless of the outcome at the Court of Appeals.”

Compassion & Choices
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