On October 5, 2015, Governor Brown signed the End of Life Option Act into law. The law requires that two doctors determine that a patient has six months or less to live before the lethal drugs can be prescribed. Patients also must be mentally competent to make medical decisions and be able to swallow the medication themselves and must affirm in writing, 48 hours before taking the medication, that they will do so.
But the law, when passed, wasn’t to become effective until 91 days after the adjournment of a special legislative session on health care, and no one knew exactly when that was going to happen. Now we do. That session ended on March 10, 2016, which means that the law will be effective as of June 9, 2016.
Since this is a new law and a new policy for the state, it is going to take time for both the public and doctors to fully understand how the process is going to work and what the legal requirements are for compliance.