Terminally ill in California waiting to die, but this court won’t let them

assisted suicideDozens of terminally ill patients in California who counted on using the state’s medical aid-in-dying law may be in limbo for a month after a court ruling that suspended the 2016 measure.

A judge who ruled in May that the law was improperly enacted refused to vacate that decision at the request of advocates last week. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia set a hearing for June 29, however, to consider a separate motion by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to reverse the decision.

Opponents cheered what they hope will be the end of a law they’ve fought from the day it was passed. Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that promotes aid-in-dying, filed a notice to appealal late Friday and asked Becerra to uphold the group’s legal opinion that their appeal would trigger a stay of Ottolia’s judgment. Such a stay would reinstate the law pending further court action. Becerra did not immediately respond to the group, or to requests for comment.

For an estimated 200 patients who had already started the process of hastening their deaths, the decision has sparked confusion and fear, said Kat West, Compassion & Choices’ national policy director. …

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