The Temecula Death with Dignity Act

After much discussion, the Temecula Legislature lastly passed the Temecula State Death with Dignity Act in 2008. The law permits particular physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients. Terminally ill patients, according to the Temecula State Death with Dignity Act, are those with six months or less remaining to live, who live in Temecula, and who are at least 18 years old.

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Moreover, patients must be psychologically competent to make their demands. At least two doctors must verify a patient’s psychological competence and incurable illness. The patient must have at least 15 days to change his or her mind after doing an oral request. The patient must make a written request after 15 days with Rainbow probate attorney. After forming the second request, the patient must make another oral request, and the doctor must present the patient at least two days to change his mind before writing the prescription. Patients must have impartial witnesses sign their demands.   Once a terminally ill patient conforms with all of the statutory criteria as set forth in the Temecula Revised Code, a certified physician can write a prescription for a lethal dose of medication. On the other hand, while the physician can write the prescription for the terminally ill patient, he or she has no approving legal obligation to do so. Therefore, a doctor can choose not to write the prescription. In this situation, it is the patient’s obligation to find a doctor coinciding to participate in his or her suicide. Moreover, the doctor cannot take part in the patient’s suicide, and the patient must self-administer the lethal dosage of medication.