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Assisted Suicide Debate: Ian Bissinger Was Ready to Die, Then the Phone Rang

May 15, 2018 - 3:33 pm
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LOS ANGELES (KNX1070) - On Tuesday a California judge has threw out a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives, ruling it was unconstitutionally approved by the Legislature.

KNX went InDepth Wednesday to find out why a terminally-ill person would prefer the right-to-die option instead of treatment. 

Ian Bissinger, a San Diego area resident who wants options and peace-of-mind, knowing that he can end his life if he so chooses.  He is 50 years old, has MS and is very worried about the legal issues that now surround California's right-to-die law.  The law, which took effect in 2016, has been overturned by a judge in Riverside County, and the state attorney general has just a few days to file an emergency appeal.  

Bob Uslander is a San Diego area doctor whose practice, Integrated MD Care, provides in-home care for patients who have serious, complex illnesses all over Southern California.  He explains what the California's law is and how it's supposed to work:

Judge Tosses California Law Allowing Life-Ending Drugs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A California judge has thrown out a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives, ruling it was unconstitutionally approved by the Legislature.

Lawyers for advocates and opponents say Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia did not rule on the legality of physician-assisted death. He issued an oral ruling Tuesday saying lawmakers acted illegally in passing the law during a special session devoted to other topics.

KNX interviewed experts on both sides of the issue:

Ottolia kept the law in place and gave the state attorney general five days to appeal.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation, American Academy of Medical Ethics and several physicians brought the lawsuit.

The law allows terminally ill adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined they have six months or less to live.