Guidelines Issued for California’s Assisted Suicide Law

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — With just months until the state’s assisted suicide law goes into effect, the California Medical Association has issued guidelines to doctors on writing prescriptions of lethal doses of medication for terminally ill patients.

The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/23eTVjY) the 15-page guide released Tuesday outlines the complicated legal and medical steps that physicians must take before they can authorize drugs to hasten a patient’s death.

The guide says doctors can list the cause of death that they feel is the most accurate — including the underlying terminal illness, or just write “pursuant to the End of Life Options Act.”

The act does not take effect until 90 days after the end of a special legislative session this year on health care. That date has not yet been set.