University HealthCare Alliance

May 31, 2018

End of Life Option Act in California

Dear Colleagues,

On May 25, 2018, a lower court judge overturned the End of Life Option Act in California. While we await a decision by the appellate court, we live in a period of uncertainty. In response, physician leadership in consultation with Ethics, the Office of General Counsel and Risk Management are providing the following guidance for Stanford physicians and affiliates:

* Until further notice, prescriptions for end of life medications should not be written and provided to patients or pharmacies.
* Patients still have the right to have conversations with their physicians about aid in dying.
* Physicians can continue to follow the steps of counseling patients about end of life options and taking all other steps of the prescribing or consulting physician, except writing the prescription.

We understand that the uncertainty of the legal status and future of this law may be troubling to patients, caregivers, and physicians. We will continue to monitor the case and provide updates as things change. If you have any questions about the steps associated with the End of Life Option Act and how to work with your patient, please consult Ethics at 650.723.8222 (Pager 16230) and review the intranet page: ELOA Intranet.   You can also lean more about bedside consultations and how to request a consult by clicking here.

Thank you,

Bryan Bohman, MD
Chief Medical Officer
University HealthCare Alliance

Michael Kim, MD
Associate Chief Medical Officer
University HealthCare Alliance