A coalition of organizations and individuals has filed a lawsuit alleging that a California assisted suicide law violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law. If the lawsuit is successful, assisted suicide laws throughout the United States could be toppled and many lives could be saved.
On April 25, 2023, the plaintiffs filed suit in federal court in the Central District of California. The lawsuit contends that California’s End of Life Option Act violates equal protection and substantive due process guarantees contained in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It also claims that the statute is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the United Spinal Association, Not Dead Yet, Communities Actively Living Independent & Free “CALIF,” the Institute for Patients’ Rights, and two individual plaintiffs.
According to the lawsuit, the End of Life Option Act “‘steers people with terminal disabilities away from necessary mental health care, medical care, and disability supports, and towards death by suicide under the guise of ‘mercy’ and ‘dignity’ in dying.” Individual plaintiff Ingrid Tischer argues that the law “‘really does create two classes of people… One side gets [suicide] prevention, one side gets a [life-ending] prescription. And that is discriminatory.’”
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms applauds the filing of this lawsuit. Whether through legislation or through credible litigation, it is our prayer that assisted suicide will become a thing of the past in the United States. Last year, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, making it possible for policymakers to protect unborn babies. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Court protected the terminally ill by throwing out a discriminatory assisted suicide law?