Hospice of San Joaquin is dedicated to the ideal of dignity and quality of life for those that are terminally ill. Hospice of San Joaquin supports the patient’s right to make decisions about medical treatments, the right to refuse unwanted medical interventions that may prolong dying and the right to palliative care. Hospice of San Joaquin also believes that it is a person’s inherent right to define for themselves quality of life, dignity, and supports individual choices. Hospice of San Joaquin will support patients and their families through their end-of-life journey and will support patients that chose to utilize the End-of-Life Options Act by ensuring compliance with the Law.
The ”End-of-Life Option Act” is a California Assembly Bill that went into effect June 9, 2016. It has come into the limelight lately, due to an amendment to the bill, shortening the length of time required to complete the process required to receive the medication
Yes, assuming they qualify. Upon inquiry about this option, the patient will be referred to their attending physician for guidance and further information and options. Hospice of San Joaquin will continue to care for the patient and treat their symptoms related to the terminal diagnosis, but will not participate in obtaining the medication that will end their life. Hospice of San Joaquin Physicians (in their role at Hospice of San Joaquin) may function regarding the End-of-Life Options Act by confirming the terminal diagnosis, confirming the patient’s competence, and confirming that he/she is not being coerced, which is their role as defined in the End-of-Life Option Act Law (as Consulting physician).
Hospice of San Joaquin staff may not be present at the time a patient chooses to self-administer the medication that will end their life. We will offer the patient and family emotional and informational support through our chaplains and social workers. However, this involvement by our staff is voluntary. Our staff are not required to be involved with a patient who has chosen to utilize the End-of-Life Option Act.
Hospice of San Joaquin only supplies medications to treat the patient’s symptoms of their terminal condition. Medication for the purpose of ending life does not fall into this category. The patient will also be responsible for any fees incurred by the attending physician.
By law, our clinical staff are to administer all medications dispensed at our Hospice House. A stipulation of the End-of-Life Option Act is that the patient must be capable of self-administering the medication. No other person can be involved in this act. Therefore, our patients that reside at the Hospice House do not qualify to participate in the End-of-Life Act while on Hospice of San Joaquin property.