VITAS Policy for the Medical Aid-In-Dying Option in California
VITAS Healthcare accepts patients who have been certified by a physician as terminally ill. As a compassionate hospice care provider, we will admit and offer support to a patient who has decided to follow a medical aid-in-dying process.
Hospice care does not seek to either hasten or postpone death, and at VITAS, we consider dying to be a natural process. We advocate for the rights of terminally ill patients and are guided by compassionate, patient-centered individualized plans of care. We also believe patients have the right to self-determination as they near the end of life. As hospice providers, we do not abandon terminally ill patients.
Patients Following a Medical Aid-In-Dying Process
VITAS will admit patients who have opted to follow a medical aid-in-dying process if they are hospice eligible. In addition, we will:
- Provide resources such as the Compassion and Choices website and/or phone number to patients who request information about the medical aid-in-dying process
- Ensure patients receive hospice services whether or not they decide to pursue the medical aid-in-dying process
- Provide compassionate hospice services to those who choose to pursue the medical aid-in-dying process
- Refrain from exerting any undue influence regarding the medical aid-in-dying process under any circumstance
- Avoid any demeaning or negative/judgmental opinions regarding these patient decisions
In fulfilling the process, VITAS staff:
- Will not bear any responsibility for ensuring the regulatory requirements are followed.
- Will not provide, deliver, dispense, administer, or assist in any manner with the aid-in-dying drug.