End of Life Option Act (Medical Aid in Dying)

End of Life Option Act (Medical Aid in Dying)

Adults in California can legally access medication from a medical or osteopathic physician to self-ingest to shorten the dying process and bring about a peaceful death.

Qualifications to access this include:

  • Being cognitively and mentally able
  • Diagnosed with a terminal illness (defined as having a prognosis of six months or less to live if treatment not sought)
  • Able to take medication on their own
  • Decision not influenced by another person(s)

Hospice SLO County’s mission is to provide emotional and spiritual support for individuals who are dying and their loved ones. While we don’t advocate either for or against this measure, we support having the legal right to choose to stop further progression of the disease and suffering and take a path that can bring comfort and a final measure of control when death can no longer be avoided.

Our Hospice does not provide attending/prescribing or consulting/2nd-opinion doctors for medical aid in dying. Hospice SLO County can and will offer a specific referral to local organizations or clinicians that will provide aid-in-dying evaluations and care.

Patients considering aid in dying can also contact the Patient to Doctor Referral System https://www.acamaid.org/patientintake/ of the American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid in Dying (a non-profit organization that assists providers of medical aid in dying and their patients).

Requesting medical aid in dying medication is a discussion between a patient and their physician. Hospice SLO County, as a non-medical hospice can provide information, resources, and emotional support with sensitivity to clients considering this option.

Our end of life doulas can support the dying who are also admitted to a medical hospice and their loved ones with preparation and can be present on the day of dying. Medical hospice is a necessary service that provides medical support and is covered by insurance. Our staff and volunteers are not able to handle any medications or medical devices.