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California governor vetoes 'Donda West Law'

Article-California governor vetoes 'Donda West Law'

Sacramento, Calif. — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed the so-called “Donda West Law,” a bill intended to reduce risks associated with cosmetic surgery.

The bill is named for rapper Kanye West’s mother, who died Nov. 10, 2007, the day after undergoing breast-reduction, abdominoplasty and liposuction procedures. Her death prompted the writing of the California measure, which would have required patients to undergo a physical exam, provide a complete medical history and get physician clearance prior to cosmetic surgery.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in his veto message, Gov. Schwarzenegger wrote that the proposed law fell victim to an unprecedented 85-day delay in approving the state budget.

“Given the delay, I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for California,” the governor wrote. “This bill does not meet that standard and I cannot sign it at this time.”

The measure, one of 131 that Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed Sept. 28, had received near-unanimous support in the state legislature.

An autopsy revealed that Donda West suffered from high blood pressure and cardiac-artery blockage. The Los Angeles County coroner’s final autopsy report, released two months after Ms. West’s death, concluded that she died of a heart attack.

“It is my opinion Ms. West died from some pre-existing coronary-artery disease and multiple post-operative factors following surgery,” Deputy Medical Examiner Louis A. Peña wrote in the report, adding that “based on the history and available information, as currently known, the manner of death could not be determined.”

The autopsy report goes on to say that “multiple post-operative factors could have played a role in the death. The exact contribution of each factor could not be determined. There was no evidence of surgical or anesthetic misadventure…. There was no evidence of a surgical procedure problem leading to hemorrhage or infection postoperatively or during the procedure.”

Other states reportedly considering measures similar to the vetoed California bill include New York, Oklahoma and Illinois.

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