Opinion

What Data From California’s New Assisted Dying Law Tells Us

In the first six months of California’s new End of Life Option Act, which allows some terminally ill patients to end their lives with medication, there have been no initial surprises. California statistics are so far quite similar to those reported by Oregon and Washington, which also have aid-in-dying laws. However, many people seeking to use the End of Life Act are having trouble doing so.

California Needs Equality When it Comes to Mental Health Care

Too few Californians have access to mental health care, and the problem exacerbates inequities in the state. Low-income residents and people of color end up bearing the brunt of this health inequity. Take, for instance, the impact of poverty on mental health. While mental health and substance abuse issues cross lines of wealth and social status, poverty and economic distress can have a significant impact

California Needs Palliative Care Standards, and This is a Start

In California, we need to begin creating and implementing standards for palliative care sooner rather than later, due in part to a new state law. SB 1004, approved by the California legislature in 2014, requires the state’s low-income health plan, Medi-Cal, to provide access to palliative care services.

Pull All Your Teeth or Go Into Debt: The Dismal Dental Choices Older Adults Are Faced With

By Amber Christ

Low-income older Californians often must choose between going into debt or having all their teeth pulled so that Denti-Cal will cover the cost of their dentures. The state health program doesn’t cover partial dentures. Whether benefits are improved will depend on whether the governor and legislature come to an agreement to do so before the budget is signed in mid-June.

Do No Harm: Why Bail Reform Matters to A Physician

The historical function of jails was to detain people who are a danger to public safety or a flight risk while awaiting trial. Today, jails confine too many people who are neither, simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. Each year, an estimated 1,000 people die while incarcerated in local jails, and a majority are being held pre-trial.

Ageism in Silicon Valley

Over the past 40 years, the contract between a technology company and its workers has changed dramatically, with ageism a clear consequence.

Who Will Be Our Aging Champion?

By Suzanne Reed

“Is California prepared to meet the needs of the aging baby boomer generation?” That was the question posed three years ago by the California State Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care chaired by Senator Carol Liu (D-La Canada), where I served as Chief of Staff.

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