End-of-Life Option Act
SB380 Section 443.15 b (i) “Each health care entity shall post on the entity’s public internet website the entity’s current policy governing medical aid in dying.”
Snowline Hospice Philosophy:
Snowline places a high value on life and is committed to providing comfort, dignity, and compassionate care for persons completing their life journey. Snowline respects a patient’s right to self-determination and quality of life as each dying person defines it. Snowline reaffirms the basic elements of the hospice philosophy which acknowledge that dying is a natural process and that hospice neither seeks to hasten nor postpone death. Snowline also reaffirms that hospice does not abandon dying patients and their families.
The California End of Life Option Act was enacted on June 9, 2016. Revisions to the law were approved and are effective 1/1/2022. This law allows terminally ill adults who are California residents to request medication from their physician that will end their life. People who choose to end their lives this way, and who carefully follow the steps as outlined by the legislature, will not be considered to have committed suicide. Instead, they will be considered to have died of an underlying terminal illness. Physicians who prescribe the aid-in-dying medication and follow all the steps of the law will not be subject to legal liability or professional sanction. Participating in this end-of-life option is voluntary for both patients and physicians.
Snowline acknowledges that there may be hospice patients who will wish to avail themselves of their legal right under the End-of-Life Option Act (ELO Act). Recognizing that it is illegal for anyone other than a qualified patient to administer the life-ending medications, Snowline will not provide, deliver, administer, or assist with medication intended for participation under the ELO Act.
Snowline shall honor California state law, and Snowline shall honor our hospice patients’ wishes regarding end of life. Snowline will not deny medical care or treatment to any patient for participating in the ELO Act. The patient will be treated in the same manner as all other patients of Snowline. We will continue to provide quality end-of-life care, symptom management, and services to patients and families with the goal of providing excellent patient care, safe and comfortable dying, and positive life closure.
In performing their duties, Snowline employees, independent contractors, and volunteers shall not influence a patient’s decision or assist a patient in ending the patient’s life under the ELO Act. While recognizing that the request for life-ending medication is a discussion between a patient and her/his attending physician, Snowline employees will provide information and referral to patients who are exercising their rights and exploring this option.