California is one of seven states-including Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington plus the District of Columbia-that allow doctors to prescribe lethal prescriptions for terminally ill patients.
"We have seen more patients than we initially expected participating in the End of Life Option Act", said Harman, who was not involved in the lawsuit but has written about Stanford Health Care's experiences with the law.
"The goal of the End of Life Option Act is not related or even incidental to the stated objective of the extraordinary session", wrote Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder, calling it a "flagrant and unlawful abuse of the legislative process".
The court withheld its judgment for five days to allow the state to file an emergency appeal, which California Attorney General Xavier Becerra indicated his office would be seeking. "For too many, assisted suicide will be the only affordable "treatment" that is offered them", she said.
"It's a reminder for all of us that there are those out there who would like to take our rights away", she said.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia overturned the law on procedural grounds in a ruling Tuesday, taking issue with how the state passed the legislation during a special session focused on healthcare issues.
Compassion & Choices, a group, which advocated for the law, told HealthExec in a statement it's confident the state will prevail in its appeal and "reinstate this perfectly valid law". Two physicians must independently determine that requesting patients have six months or less to live, are making an informed, voluntary decision, and are mentally competent.
Jennifer Glass, 51, who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer previous year, just four months after getting married, is photographed at her home in San Mateo, Calif., on November 3, 2014, one day after Brittany Maynard ended her life in Oregon. "The session dealt with Medicaid, and the End of Life Option Act allowed Medicaid to pay for aid-in-dying medication", he said. Maynard's family advocated for the law in California and elsewhere.
In a Tuesday statement on Facebook, Packer expressed confidence that Judge Ottolia's ruling will stand.
The judge's ruling "is not a surprise, as the End of Life Option Act entered review by the legislature through an abnormal path", said Dr. Stephanie Harman, a clinical associate professor in Stanford University's Department of Medicine and a faculty member in the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.
Worse, for patients, "the so-called right to die very quickly becomes the duty to die", Stevens said.
Kappos said his organization argued that since California Governor Jerry Brown, who convened the session, signed the bill into law it was clear that he considered it appropriate.
Her story incited more awareness for the Death With Dignity movement, which began in OR when a group of physicians helped pass the first statewide law that allowed for terminally ill patients to request drugs to end their lives.
Sean Crowley, a spokesman for Compassion & Choices, said Judge Ottolia's ruling was "a shock" and that his group thinks the judge misinterpreted the state constitution in holding that the aid-in-dying bill fell outside the parameters of the special legislative session.
George Eighmey, national board president of the nonprofit Death With Dignity argued that as the court battle unfolds, people who want to die will be forced to place their death on hold.