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Issues Under Review

UC End of Life Option Act Policy


March 26, 2021

UC Executive Vice President–UC Health Carrie Byington has submitted proposed revisions to the UC Health Participation in Activities under the End of Life Option Act Presidential Policy for Senate review.

UCOP has issued the following communication regarding the proposed revisions.

The issuance of the Interim Presidential Policy: UC Health Participation in Activities under the End of Life Option Act in 2016, coincided with the issuance of the End of Life Option Act (California Health and Safety Code §443, et seq., referred to in this policy as the “Option Act”) which allows terminally ill adult patients with the mental capacity to make medical decisions to request to be prescribed and self-administer an aid-in-dying drug to end their life if specific conditions are met.

The Option Act establishes specific procedures and requirements to be followed by patients and health care providers who choose to assist them. It also provides that, upon proper notice, a health care provider may “opt out”.

UC Health has chosen not to opt out but acknowledges the rights of individual employees to refrain from participating in activities authorized under the Option Act.

It is the policy of the University of California to extend to its patients the choices made available through the Option Act and to comply with its terms. The University, however, neither requires nor encourages any individual provider to participate. Participation in activities authorized under the Act is strictly voluntary.

A link to a cover memo from EVP Byington, and redlined and clean versions of the proposed policy is provided in the resources box. Faculty who wish to comment are welcome to do so. All comments received by June 1, 2021 will be included in the review materials for Senate Council consideration.

Steven Constable
Academic Senate, San Diego Division