Senate Bill No. 1076 introduces new legal language regarding aid in dying for terminally ill patients. The bill establishes the requirements for a patient to request aid in dying, including being an adult, being competent, being a resident of the state for at least one year, having a terminal illness, attending counseling, and expressing a voluntary wish to receive aid in dying. The bill also specifies that no person, including an agent under a living will or a guardian, may act on behalf of a patient for the purposes of aid in dying. The bill requires a patient wishing to receive aid in dying to submit two written requests to their attending physician, with the second request being submitted no earlier than fifteen days after the first request. Each request must be witnessed by at least two people who attest that the patient is of sound mind, acting voluntarily, and not being coerced. The witnesses must not be relatives of the patient, entitled to any portion of the patient's estate, employees of a healthcare facility where the patient is receiving treatment, or the patient's attending physician at the time of the request.
The bill also establishes requirements for attending physicians when presented with a patient's request for aid in dying. The attending physician must make a determination that the patient is an adult, has a terminal illness, is competent, and has voluntarily requested aid in dying. The physician must also ensure that the patient is making an informed decision and refer them to a consulting physician for confirmation of their diagnosis and competency. The attending physician must also refer the patient for counseling to determine their competence and ensure they are not suffering from a psychiatric or psychological condition that impairs their judgment. Once the attending and consulting physicians determine that the patient is qualified, the attending physician may dispense or prescribe the medication for aid in dying.