Tampa, Florida Veterans Lawyer David W. Magann Comments on Laws Concerning Physician-Assisted Suicide for Veterans

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 27, 2018 – Terminally ill veterans who wish to end their lives must first move out of the government-managed home in which they reside. This is because assisted suicide is contrary to the policy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

However, for many veterans, relocating would create undue hardship during a time that is already agonizing for them. Veterans who reside at the Veterans Home of California at Yountville, which is the largest retirement home for veterans in the country, are contemplating pursuing legal action if the regulation remains effective.

Tampa, Florida veterans lawyer David W. Magann says, “Terminally ill veterans have a right to seek legal counsel in protest of the law that requires them to leave the veteran home in which they live prior to pursuing physician-assisted suicide.”

Despite state laws, the 1997 Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act enacted by Congress forbids the use of federal funds to assist with suicides. While the VA provides several state homes with funds for veterans’ care, including physicians, the states make decisions with respect to their laws about the nursing homes. The 1997 act is the sole federal law addressing assisted suicide. The Supreme Court has delegated it to the states to pass laws allowing or prohibiting physician-assisted suicides.

After California passed the End of Life Option Act, in 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs in the state, or CalVet, required the discharge of residents who planned to take medication to facilitate a peaceful death, and forbade any employees, independent contractors or other persons from engaging in such activity while on the grounds of one of its homes. If a veteran decides not to engage in physician-assisted suicide, the person will be re-admitted right away.

Veterans at the Yountville home and advocates of the end-of-life option sent a letter in protest of the discharge policy. In response, CalVet officials said they would inquire into the matter. However, thus far, they have not offered a resolution to the issue.

Learn more at David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548