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Protection of Conscience Project

www.consciencelaws.org

Service, not Servitude
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California

Assembly Bill 654 (2005)

California Compassionate Choice Act

Check on the status of this bill at the California State Assembly

Introduction:
AB 654 is a bill that would legalize assisted suicide. It includes the following protection of conscience provision to prevent health care providers (including institutions) from being compelled to participate in the procedure. The Act does not explicitly require referral by conscientious objectors, and the protection of conscience provision could be strengthened by including such explicit protection.

One point of interest is the fact that legislators are willing to formally acknowledge that people who oppose assisted suicide in principle should not be compelled to participate in the procedure, but refuse to apply the same principle to other morally controversial procedures or services, such as contraception. [Administrator]

INTRODUCED BY: Assembly Members Berg and Levine (17 February, 2005)

An act to add Chapter 3.95 (commencing with Section 7195) to Part1 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to death.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

Chapter 3.95 (commencing with Section 7195) is added to Part 1 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

CHAPTER 3.95. CALIFORNIA COMPASSIONATE CHOICE ACT

Article 3. Immunities and Liabilities

7198.(b) No professional organization or association, or heath care provider, may subject a person to censure, discipline, suspension, loss of license, loss of privileges, loss of membership, or other penalty for participating or refusing to participate in good faith compliance with this chapter.

7198. (d) No health care provider shall be under any duty, whether by contract, by statute, or by any other legal requirement to participate in the provision to a qualified patient of medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner. If a health care provider is unable or unwilling to carry out a patient's request under this chapter, and the patient transfers his or her care to a new health care provider, the prior health care provider shall transfer, upon request, a copy of the patient's relevant medical records to the new health care provider.

 

 

 

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