California appeals court rejects right-to-die lawsuit

Oct 29, 2015 5:25 PM by News Staff

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A California appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by three terminally ill patients that sought to clear the way for doctors to prescribe them fatal medication.

A division of the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that a state law that makes helping someone commit suicide a crime clearly applies to physicians who provide patients lethal drugs.

The ruling affirmed a lower court decision that dismissed the lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought against the state in May by Christy O'Donnell and two other terminally ill California residents.

California has since approved right-to-die legislation, though it will not likely go into effect in time to benefit the three patients.

The legislation was approved after the highly publicized case of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, a California woman with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to legally take her life.

John Kappos, an attorney for the patients, said they are considering all options, including an appeal to the California Supreme Court.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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