Donda West Law Takes Effect in California

Published September 16, 2009

Rap phenom Kanye West’s late mother has inspired legislation recently adopted in California.

The new requirement that cosmetic surgery patients get clearance from licensed doctors before undergoing procedures has been named the Donda West Law. Donda West, 58, died in 2007 of complications from post-operation issues related to her breast and “tummy tuck.”

“We felt this is something we wanted to do to make sure her death wouldn’t be in vain,” said West’s niece Yolanda Anderson when the 2008 bil l was introduced. “We don’t want to let it happen to other families. We’ve spoken to Kanye and he’s very enthusiastic about it.”

West’s nephew Stephan Scoggins was investigated in the aftermath of his aunt’s death. A registered nurse, Scoggins reportedly left West unattended for the day, believing that she was recovering satisfactorily, with plans to return later. She reportedly developed pain in her throat and chest, and breathed heavily as complications set in. West was later found unresponsive in bed.

A coroner’s report said West died of “coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors due to, or as a consequence, of liposuction and mammoplasty…but the final manner of death could not be determined.”

California 62nd District State Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter suggested that West’s niece submit the proposed legislation for an “It Ought to Be a Law” con test that Carter sponsors. Carter later introduced what was then known as Assembly Bill 2968.

“I received many thoughtful legislative ideas,” said Carter. “But the proposal…is timely and definitely needed in order to better protect our citizens from unnecessary bodily trauma that could result from elective cosmetic surgery, if they are not physically fit to undergo surgery. This is not directed at the many good plastic surgeons out there who require that their patients have medical clearance before they perform elective cosmetic surgery.”

Written by Eddie B. Allen Jr.

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