Code Section

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

PART 1.85. End of Life Option Act [443 - 443.22]

  ( Part 1.85 added by Stats. 2015, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 1. )

As used in this part, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Adult” means an individual 18 years of age or older.

(b) “Aid-in-dying drug” means a drug determined and prescribed by a physician for a qualified individual, which the qualified individual may choose to self-administer to bring about his or her death due to a terminal disease.

(c) “Attending physician” means the physician who has primary responsibility for the health care of an individual and treatment of the individual’s terminal disease.

(d) “Attending physician checklist and compliance form” means a form, as described in Section 443.22, identifying each and every requirement that must be fulfilled by an attending physician to be in good faith compliance with this part should the attending physician choose to participate.

(e) “Capacity to make medical decisions” means that, in the opinion of an individual’s attending physician, consulting physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, pursuant to Section 4609 of the Probate Code, the individual has the ability to understand the nature and consequences of a health care decision, the ability to understand its significant benefits, risks, and alternatives, and the ability to make and communicate an informed decision to health care providers.

(f) “Consulting physician” means a physician who is independent from the attending physician and who is qualified by specialty or experience to make a professional diagnosis and prognosis regarding an individual’s terminal disease.

(g) “Department” means the State Department of Public Health.

(h) “Health care provider” or “provider of health care” means any person licensed or certified pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code; any person licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act or the Chiropractic Initiative Act; any person certified pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of this code; and any clinic, health dispensary, or health facility licensed pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of this code.

(i) “Informed decision” means a decision by an individual with a terminal disease to request and obtain a prescription for a drug that the individual may self-administer to end the individual’s life, that is based on an understanding and acknowledgment of the relevant facts, and that is made after being fully informed by the attending physician of all of the following:

(1) The individual’s medical diagnosis and prognosis.

(2) The potential risks associated with taking the drug to be prescribed.

(3) The probable result of taking the drug to be prescribed.

(4) The possibility that the individual may choose not to obtain the drug or may obtain the drug but may decide not to ingest it.

(5) The feasible alternatives or additional treatment opportunities, including, but not limited to, comfort care, hospice care, palliative care, and pain control.

(j) “Medically confirmed” means the medical diagnosis and prognosis of the attending physician has been confirmed by a consulting physician who has examined the individual and the individual’s relevant medical records.

(k) “Mental health specialist assessment” means one or more consultations between an individual and a mental health specialist for the purpose of determining that the individual has the capacity to make medical decisions and is not suffering from impaired judgment due to a mental disorder.

(l) “Mental health specialist” means a psychiatrist or a licensed psychologist.

(m) “Physician” means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy currently licensed to practice medicine in this state.

(n) “Public place” means any street, alley, park, public building, any place of business or assembly open to or frequented by the public, and any other place that is open to the public view, or to which the public has access.

(o) “Qualified individual” means an adult who has the capacity to make medical decisions, is a resident of California, and has satisfied the requirements of this part in order to obtain a prescription for a drug to end his or her life.

(p) “Self-administer” means a qualified individual’s affirmative, conscious, and physical act of administering and ingesting the aid-in-dying drug to bring about his or her own death.

(q) “Terminal disease” means an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, result in death within six months.

(Added by Stats. 2015, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 1. (AB 15 2x) Effective June 9, 2016. Repealed as of January 1, 2026, pursuant to Section 443.215.)