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California: Now Legal for Mentally Ill Patients to Die by Assisted Suicide

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Oct 19
  • Comments

A newly-adopted regulation in California allows mentally ill patients to choose to die by assisted suicide.

According to Wesley Smith, a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and a contributor to, California Code of Regulations § 4601 states:

“(a) A terminally ill patient, as defined by the End of Life Option Act, may petition the superior court for access to participate in activities under the End of Life Option Act by requesting release from the custody of the Department of State Hospitals from the court. If the court orders release from the custody of the Department of State Hospitals, the Department of State Hospitals shall release the patient to the ordered entity or person” (Smith’s emphasis added).

Smith notes that, in a terrible twist of irony, patients who have been hospitalized for suicidal tendencies may end up being in the same facilities with mentally ill patients who are able to request assisted suicide.

“[T]he state is abandoning the terminally ill with mental illnesses to their darkest impulses,” writes Smith.

Not only does the California regulation permit mentally ill patients to choose assisted suicide, but the state requires that if the patient cannot be transported to a place where the procedure can be carried out, the facility where he or she is living must provide this service.


Publication date: October 19, 2016