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California Judge Indicates Dismissal of Right-to-Die Lawsuit

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 24, 2015

A county judge strongly indicated Friday he will dismiss a lawsuit against the state by a single mom given only months to live and other California right-to-die advocates who want doctors to be allowed to prescribe fatal medication for terminally ill people who want it.

During a hearing, San Diego Superior Court Judge Gregory Pollack said his court was not the place for the issue but did not formally rule, saying he would issue a written decision Monday.

"You're asking this court to make new law," Pollack said. "If new law is made it should be by the Legislature or by a ballot measure."

The judge said the parties probably could get "new law" from a higher court "but you can't get it from a lower level Superior Court judge like me.'"

Attorneys on both sides agreed that dismissal was certain.

"This is something that needs to be addressed not by the court but is more appropriate for the Legislature," said Darin Wessel, among district attorney teams from various counties that were part of the effort to seek dismissal.

The lawsuit was brought against the state by Christy O'Donnell, two other terminally ill Californians and a San Diego doctor. The plaintiffs are backed by Compassion and Choices, an advocacy group that has supported legislative efforts and similar lawsuits in various states.

Some advocates say they thought the nationally publicized case of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old California woman with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to legally end her life last fall, might usher in a wave of state laws allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending medications. But no states have passed right-to-die legislation since Maynard's death in 2014, and efforts have been defeated or stalled in several.

Read the whole story at ABC News

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