March 11, 2021
The Honorable Dr. Richard Pan
Chair, California State Senate Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 5114
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SUPPORT: SB 380 (Eggman) End of Life Option Act
The Sonoma County Democratic Party is writing to support Senate Bill 380, which would keep and
improve California’s End of Life Option Act.
The California End of Life Option Act took effect in 2016 and since that time nearly 2,000 mentally
capable, terminally ill Californians with six months or less to live have exercised their legally available
option to receive a prescription for medical aid-in-dying medication to peacefully end their unbearable
At the same time and for a variety of reasons, too many suffering terminally ill Californians have been
unable to access their end of life options. The bureaucratic and burdensome 10+ step process has
hampered or prevented many patients from accessing the law.
Shockingly, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente Southern California, one third of terminally ill
adults who sought to access the End of Life Option Act died before completing the time-consuming
process which includes a 15-day waiting period and can sometimes take months to complete.
In addition, COVID-19 pandemic has exposed health disparities in access to care among different
communities. The hurdles that make it difficult for dying people to use this compassionate law is
magnified in communities of color, where patients often don’t have access to the same resources and
referral networks that can best inform them about their end of life options.
For these reasons, we believe that California lawmakers should permanently reauthorize the End of Life
Option Act via Senate Bill 380 which includes amendments to improve access to the law, especially for
underserved communities of color and rural communities, ensuring all eligible terminally ill people can
access it, while preserving its essential patient safeguards.
Pat Sabo, Chair