Senate Bill 1325 - Peaceful And Natural Dignity Act (Panda)

March 1, 2018

Summary:

Senate Bill 1325 recognizes the right of every non-incarcerated individual in California to remain un-medicated, and for individuals and groups to voluntarily self-quarantine on private property during an emergency. Public health orders may not infringe these rights, even in an emergency.

Issue Background:

There are several precedents in other states regarding the use of government force in maintaining public health; this bill makes clear in California that families that have chosen to remain undedicated may continue to do so in times of emergency following certain safety guidelines. The state of California recognizes an individual’s right to refuse medical treatments in the state’s constitution Article 1, Section 1 stating that all people are by nature free and independent and have the right to obtain privacy.  This includes privacy regarding individual’s medical treatment for their own health and the treatment and health of their families.

Public health orders in other states seem to be split between enforcing medication and being open to an individual’s rights to choose how, when, and why they will be medicated. In Oregon, there is precedent for forceful medication in some cases (256 Or App 15, 2013, Oregon) while other states offer legal backing to refuse medical treatment as Minnesota state law does.(Minnesota Health Statutes 144.651 Subdivision 12) California has precedent regarding inmates’ rights to refuse medical care that can be expanded upon to fit the private needs of individuals.(Thor v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal. 4th at 732) PANDA facilitates a legal backing for the individuals choice for their own medical treatment.

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