Rancho Mirage, CA
Coachella Valley residents rallied outside the Eisenhower Medical Center to demand it change its policy prohibiting nearly 500 physicians from writing prescriptions for aid-in-dying medication to terminally ill adults who request it. This end-of-life option is authorized by the End of Life Option Act that took effect last June.
The two other hospitals in Coachella Valley, Desert Regional Medical Center and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, revised their policies last month and now allow their doctors to participate in the law if they want to do so.
Community residents have called, emailed, and written letters requesting the Eisenhower Medical Center administration to allow its doctor to participate in the End of Life Option Act. Starting last August, a patient relations administrator at Eisenhower Medical Center repeatedly told a Coachella Valley resident, Joan Stucker, the hospital would consider hold a community meeting to explain its policy, but the meeting never happened.
Alan Williamson, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for Eisenhower Medical Center issued this statement: "An Eisenhower representative met with members of the community today and heard their concerns about Eisenhower Medical Center’s choice not to participate in the End of Life Option act. Eisenhower Medical Center respects the right of community members to express their opinions about the Medical Center’s policy, which is similar to that of other area hospitals."