California Euthanasia Laws
Euthanasia, or "mercy killing," is the act of taking someone's life who no longer wishes to live, typically because they have a terminal illness or some other debilitating condition. Currently only one state (Oregon) allows physician-assisted suicide, but many states do allow the withdrawal of life-sustaining machines or procedures. In California, euthanasia laws are not on the books. But the state's Natural Death Act allows the removal from life-support procedures or devices.
The basics of California euthanasia-related laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Patient Rights Basics for more related articles and resources.
|Code Section||Probate §4653|
|Euthanasia Condoned in Statutes?||Nothing condones, authorizes, or approves mercy killing or permits an affirmative act or omission to end life other than the withholding of health care pursuant to a durable power of attorney so as to permit the natural process of dying. In making health care decisions under a durable power of attorney, an attempted suicide shall not be construed to indicate a decision of the principal that health care treatment be restricted or inhibited.|
|Effect of Withholding of Life-Sustaining Procedures||Death resulting from withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in accordance with the Natural Death Act does not constitute for any purposes suicide or homicide.|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law:
- California Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
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