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California To Appeal Ruling On Life-Ending Drugs

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

In this Sept. 24, 2015 file photo, supporters of a measure to allow the terminally ill to end their own life march at the Capitol while calling on California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the bill in Sacramento, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

California's attorney general plans to appeal a Riverside County judge's ruling blocking a 2016 state law that allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement Wednesday that he will seek an expedited review in an appeals court.

He says he strongly disagrees with Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia's ruling Tuesday that lawmakers illegally passed the law during a special session devoted to other topics. The judge gave Becerra five days to appeal.

The law allows adults to obtain life-ending drugs if a doctor determines they have six months or less to live.

Opponents say it puts terminally ill patients at risk for coerced death and could become a way out for people who are uninsured or fearful of high medical bills.

Democratic Sen. Bill Monning of Carmel, who carried the original legislation, says there has been no reported abuse.

An advocacy group estimates that in its first year 504 Californians requested prescriptions for medical aid in dying.

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