Have Legally Ended Their Lives Under California's New Right-To-Die Law, Report Says

California State Data on End of Life Option Act Confirms It is Working Well

California's End of Life Option Act became effective in June 2016 and allows adults living in California to obtain and self-administer drugs that help end their lives, according to the California Department of Health (CDPH).

More than 100 people have legally ended their lives since California enacted a right-to-die law a year ago, according to a new report.

The 2016 law made it legal for terminally ill patients to take drugs to end their lives.

According to the report, between June 9, 2016 and December 31, 2017, 191 people requested the prescription, and 111 of them were reported to have died after ingesting the medication. Of that group, only 111 had taken the pills by the end of a year ago. ". We continue to work to ensure that every terminally ill Californian has equal access to all end-of-life care options, including hospice, pain control, palliative care and medical aid in dying".

In the first six months of California's right-to-die law, 111 people took their own lives, according to a report released Tuesday.

A little over 75% of the 111 people, were 60-89 years of age, and 89.5% were white. She also argued that the law offers no way to determine whether a patient was coerced into taking life-ending drugs. More than 94 percent of the patients had health insurance, including 57 percent on Medicare, Medicaid or California's Medi-Cal program. The outcomes of the remaining 59 people were not reported by doctors within the six-month period.

OR was the first state to enact "right-to-die" legislation in 1997, according to the Associated Press. The median age was 73, and majority of the patients had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The states of Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Vermont have passed legislation similar to California's while Montana's courts upheld the legality of the practice. The patient must verbally ask for the lethal prescription to a doctor twice and with at least 15 days between each request.

Compassion & Choices is the oldest nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 members nationwide.

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