Right-to-die denied

California judge dismisses case of three terminally ill patients

Three terminally ill patients fighting for their right to request and obtain lethal medications to end their lives lost their case in San Diego Superior Court on July 24.

The plaintiffs were challenging Section 401 of the state penal code, which makes it a crime to deliberately aid in another person's suicide. Their attorneys argued that the right to hasten death is an extension of established legal rights, such as refusing life-extending treatments like a feeding tube or ventilator, according to KQED.

But Judge Gregory Pollack dismissed the case, adding that whether to allow physician-assisted suicide is a question for the Legislature or voters, rather than the court. Meanwhile, the state's right-to-die measure, Senate Bill 128, is tabled for the year after stalling at the committee level.