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Calif. doctors readying for assisted suicide law

Dr Philip Nitschke holds up a drug testing kit which is used as part of assisted suicides following a workshop on the subject on May 5, 2009 in Bournemouth, England.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Dr Philip Nitschke holds up a drug testing kit which is used as part of assisted suicides following a workshop on the subject on May 5, 2009 in Bournemouth, England.

The assisted suicide law in California will soon take effect, so the California Medical Association has issued guidance for doctors asked to prescribe lethal narcotics to terminally ill patients.

The assisted suicide law in California will soon take effect, so the California Medical Association has issued guidance for doctors asked to prescribe lethal narcotics to terminally ill patients.

The guidance explains the complicated legal and medical steps that physicians must take before they can authorize lethal drugs.

The new law does not obligate physicians to assist, advise, nor counsel a patient with suicide if they are opposed for reasons of conscience, morality or ethics.

How will doctors decide whether to provide this new legal option to patients?

Guests:

Francisco Silva, General Counsel, California Medical Association

Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, MD, Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics, The University of Chicago

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