On February 11th, DRLC filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court to clarify the ability of mentally competent, terminally ill California patients to obtain aid in dying from their physician. The plaintiffs, consisting of patients and doctors, are asking the court to declare that physicians who provide a prescription for medication to a mentally competent terminally ill patient should not be subject to criminal prosecution under existing California law.
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International Disability Rights
On March 20, 2012, civil rights advocates including the DRLC submitted a Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The Petition was filed on behalf of California inmates who are placed in isolated segregation for an "indefinite" period or for many years solely based upon a "validation" that they are gang members or are associates of a gang. The Petition alleges that penalizing them in this fashion (i.e., with indefinite or determinate terms of many years solely for gang membership or association without the prisoner having engaged in any illegal acts or acts in violation of prison rules, or even having planned to do so) constitutes cruel and degrading treatment in violation of California's obligations under international law, as such isolation has adverse effects on their mental and physical health.